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■pHILIP HONE was born on the 2Sth of October, 1780, in 
-*- Dutch street, New York. Four years later his father bought 
a wooden house, on the corner of Dutch and John streets, where 
Philip passed his boyhood. He received a common-school educa- 
tion, and at seventeen years of age began his mercantile career as 
clerk to his elder brother John. The business was that of an auc- 
tioneer, which, at that time, consisted chiefly in selling the cargoes 
brought to the port of New York by the fleet of American merchant- 
men. Philip displayed so much ability and fidelity in his work, 
that in 1 799, when nineteen years of age, his brother took him 
into partnership. The firm became extremely prosperous, and 
bore an honoured name throughout the United States. On the 
I St of October, 1801, in his twenty-second year, Mr. Hone mar- 
ried Catherine Dunscomb, by whom he had three sons and three 

In 1820, Mr. Hone, although only forty years of age, had accu- 
mulated a fortune then considered very large. His mature life still 
lay before him, and the choice was open as to the manner in which 
it should be spent. With no love of money for money's sake, with 
a sincere desire to improve himself and to be useful to others, he 
retired from business, in the flood- tide of his powers and his pros- 
perity, to enter a higher sphere of effort. 

In 1821 he sailed for Europe in the "James Monroe," Captain 
Rogers, of four hundred tons burden. This journey to foreign 
lands made a deep impression, and strengthened his determination 
to devote his energies to self-cultivation and to objects of public 


interest. Immediately after his return, he purchased the house, 
No. 235 Broadway, just below the corner of Park place, for $25,000. 
Tliis house was one of the largest private residences in the city, 
and was jjointed out to strangers as an object of civic pride. Its 
wintlows looked out upon the City Hall Park, then the principal park 
in New York, surrounded by a fence of wooden palings, and consid- 
ered up town. When installed in his new house, Mr, Hone began 
his career of social and public-spirited activity. The most able 
and influential men in New York were his constant guests. Men 
from other States, such as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Harrison 
Cray Otis, made his house their rendezvous while passing through 
the city. Foreigners of note, such as Lord Morpeth, Fanny 
Kemble, Captain Marryat, John Gait, Charles Dickens, met with 
a hearty welcome. As his children grew up the house became a 
resort for the young people ; and it was an ordinary question for the 
beaux and belles walking on Broadway : " Shall we meet to-night at 
Mr. Hone's, or at Dr. Hosack's?" — these being the two houses 
in town most constantly open. 

In 1S24 Mr, Hone was elected an assistant alderman, which 
office he held until 1826, when he became Mayor. His adminis- 
tration of the affairs of the city was characterized by an intelligent 
public spirit, untrammelled by party ; and his mayoralty, praise- 
worthy as it was for the wise performance of duty, was especially 
distinguished in the annals of New York municipal government by 
the fact that Mr. Hone represented the city socially as well as po- 
litically. He entertained officially ; and visiting strangers during 
his term enjoyed a hospitality which reflected credit upon the whole 

In 18 1 6 was established the first bank for savings. This, the 
best of all philanthropic institutions, had immediately enlisted Mr. 
Hone's cooperation. On its foundation he was appointed a trustee 
by the Legislature, and he continued his gratuitous labours on be- 
half of the bank for more than thirty years, becoming its president 
in 1 84 1. For t\Venty-one years he served as a governor of the 


New York Hospital and as a trustee of the Bloomingdale Asylum. 
He ceased to occupy these positions only when rendered ineligible 
by his appointment by the Governor of the State as an inspector 
of all public institutions. He was the founder of the Clinton Hall 
Association and of the Mercantile Library Association, of which he 
continued to be the president for many years. Other institutions 
and corporations of which Mr. Hone was an officer for considerable 
periods are as follows : Trustee of Columbia College, of the New 
York Life Insurance and Trust Company, of the Merchants' Ex- 
change ; president of the American Exchange Bank, of the Glen- 
ham Manufacturing Company; vice-president of the Institution 
for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, of the American 
Seamen's Fund Society, of the New York Historical Society, of 
the Fuel Savings Society; a director in the Matteawan Cotton 
and Machine Company, the Eagle Fire Insurance Company, the 
National Insurance Company, the Delaware and Hudson Canal 
Company ; a member of the Chamber of Commerce, of the Vestry 
of Trinity Church ; a manager of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, of the Mechanics and Scientific Association ; president of 
the German Society ; a founder and a governor of the Union Club. 
By his labours on behalf of the insurance and manufacturing com- 
panies, and the Delaware & Hudson Canal, which first connected 
the coal-fields of Pennsylvania with tide-water, Mr. Hone kept 
abreast of the industrial interests of the country. The positions 
held by him in philanthropic institutions were never treated as 
honorary titles. In each case he worked with the same assiduity 
that a man could apply to his own business. An ordinary day's oc- 
cupation for him was to ride out on horseback to the Bloomingdale 
Asylum, to return and pass the afternoon at the Bank for Savings, 
thence to attend a meeting of the Trinity Vestry, or to preside over 
the Mercantile Library Association. He was never voluntarily 
absent from a meeting where the interests of others demanded his 
presence, and many were the good dinners which he lost in conse- 


In I S3 7, the encroachments of trade upon the buildings in the 
vicinity of the City Hall Park made Mr. Hone's house there less 
desirable as a place of residence. He sold it, and built the house 
at the south-east corner of Broadway and Great Jones street, then 
the upper limit of the city, where he lived during the remainder of 
his life. The front room on the ground floor, now occupied by 
the East River Bank, was his library, and there the greater part 
of his Diary was written. 

During the prolonged period of commercial depression, which 
began with the attacks of President Jackson upon the Bank of the 
United States in 1836, Mr. Hone met with financial losses, in con- 
sequence of assistance extended by him to others, which com- 
pelled him to return to active business. He became president 
of the American Mutual Insurance Company, which was ruined by 
the great fire of July 19, 1845, and the affairs of which he wound 
up as receiver. In recognition of the courageous and honourable 
manner in which he had met his reverses, a number of leading 
merchants placed in the Mercantile Library a marble bust of Mr. 
Hone, which Clevenger began and Powers finished. In 1849 he 
was appointed Naval Officer of the port of New York by President 
Taj-lor, which office he held during the short remainder of his 

In politics, Mr. Hone was first a Federalist, and afterwards a 
Whig, having given its name to the latter party. The Jackson 
administration, characterized as it was by unwarrantable assump- 
tion of power by the Executive and a cringing party subserviency, 
excited his detestation ; and he was an important factor in the 
great campaign which ended in the election of General Harrison. 
He was an able speaker, and his services were called into requisi- 
tion at all times of public commotion. He presided with success 
at party conventions, where his fine presence, strong voice, and 
dignified language swayed and moderated great assemblages. 

He had personal gifts which extended the influence due to his 
character. Tall and spare, his bearing was distinguished, his face 


handsome and refined ; his manners were courtly, of what is 
known as the " old school ; " his tact was great, — he had a faculty 
for saying the right thing. In his own house his hospitality was 
enhanced by a graceful urbanity and a ready wit. He was fond 
of riding on horseback, always had a spirited horse, and for many 
years his figure was a familiar sight as he rode up and down 
Broadway. His popularity as a diner-out is sufficiently illustrated 
in the pages of the Diary, and is well remembered through the 
institution of the Hone Club. 

Mr. Hone's taste for literature and the arts was self-cultivated. 
With few advantages in early life, he owed his education to his 
own efforts. He was an assiduous reader of serious books, the 
contents of which he impressed on his mind by copying striking 
passages in his common-place book, with comments of his own. 
He took every opportunity of seeing good pictures, and obtained 
an artistic judgment by the same system of self-instruction which 
he applied to literature. Authors and painters were frequent 
guests at his table, and not a few were assisted by him. He was 
much interested in the drama, owned a box at the Park Theatre ; 
and when actors like Matthews, Kemble, or the elder Wallack 
were playing in New York, they always enjoyed his hospitality. 

As a merchant, distinguished for intelligence and integrity ; as an 
enlightened philanthropist, as a public-spirited citizen and a social 
leader, Mr. Hone took pleasure in recording the events which took 
place under his eyes during the first half of the present century. 
He saw New York grow from a town of twenty thousand inhabi- 
tants into a city of five hundred thousand ; he saw the residence 
portion of the city extend up Broadway to Union square, up Fifth 
avenue as far as Twentieth street. And in this enormous growth 
and all the changes which it involved, he had borne an influential 
part. He had been an American who recognized no division of 
North and South, and a Knickerbocker who gloried in the progress 
of his native city. In 1847 he made a journey into the far West, 
the hardships of which brought on an illness from which he never 


fully recovered. In 1S50 he lost his wife, and on the 4th of May, 
1S51, he died, in his seventy-first year. 

On the termination of his mayoralty, in 1827, Mr. Hone began 
to keep a record of various events, chiefly of a business and per- 
sonal description, for convenience of reference, rather than as a 
literary occupation. But his interest in the life of his day, com- 
bined with a natural gift for expression which demanded gratifi- 
cation, caused this record gradually to assume a more elaborate 
character. In May, 1828, he found that he had only to go a step 
further to convert his common-place book into a diary, and this 
step he determined to take. During the rest of his life the Diary 
became his favourite exercise and relaxation. He devoted an 
hour or more daily to chronicling events of interest, to comments 
on politics, literature, art, the drama, or industrial subjects. He 
wrote without any view to publication. His thoughts were put 
down as they occurred to him, without previous preparation or sub- 
sequent correction. Their expression was the pleasurable one of 
an active mind which is relieved by giving form to ideas. The 
keeping of the Diary became a rooted habit ; so that, when infirmity 
had curtailed other occupations, he adhered to this one almost to 
the day of his death. The somewhat fragmentary character of a 
common-place book is discernible in the beginning of the Diary ; 
but the reader will perceive a steady improvement as regards both 
style and continuity. 

In its original form, the Diary consists of twenty-eight quarto 
volumes, closely written on both sides of the page. Not more than 
a quarter of the work is now published. Mr. Hone made ex- 
tended comments on new books, with extracts from them; he 
made summaries of the foreign news brought by the packet-ships ; 
he kept records of political statistics and local political meetings ; he 
copied extracts from the speeches of pubhc men and periodical 
articles of interest at that time ; he kept a record of the journeys 


which he took about the country on business or for pleasure. Such 
subjects as the above have been omitted or abridged. The por- 
tions of the Diary relating to industrial changes, to political and 
social life, to public men and other individuals of note, to the his- 
tory of the city of New York, have been retained as far as allowed 
by the limits of the two volumes here presented. 

Bayard Tuckerman. 



1828. ■ 

OUNDAY, May 18. — The tariff bill, having been returned from 
*^ the Senate, passed by that body with various amendments, 
was finally passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday 
last. This bill has been warmly discussed, and has caused great 
excitement. It increases the duties on all those descriptions 
of manufactured goods imported from foreign countries which 
are supposed to come into competition with our manufactures. 
The success of this measure will be considered a triumph of 
the manufacturing over the mercantile interest. Some of the 
Southern States view it as hostile to their prosperity, and I much 
fear it will lead to violent measures among some of the political 
Hotspurs of that sanguine portion of our fellow-citizens. 

Ballston Springs, Saturday, July 26. — Mr. Stevenson told me 
the following anecdote of Tecumseh, which was related to him by 
General Harrison, and which is descriptive of the Indian's roman- 
tic character and sublime sentiments. When General Harrison, 
at that time Governor of the Indian Territory, was engaged with 
the chief in making the treaty of Vincennes, a misunderstand- 


ing occ\irrc(l, and Tccumsch gave the General the lie. The 
Cicncral was very indignant, and was with difficulty restrained 
from chastising him on the spot; this, however, would have 
been attended with consequences fatal to the pending negoti- 
ation, and he was prevailed upon to signify to him through the 
interpreter that his offence was forgiven, and that he was allowed 
the privilege of being seated in the presence of the Governor, 
his great father. The haughty chief, throwing himself on the 
ground, replied with scorn and indignation, " I have no father 
but the glorious Sun ; the Earth is my mother, and I will repose 
upon her bosom." 

Albany, Tuesday, Sept. 2. — After seeing three of my chil- 
dren, with the horses and carriage, under way in the safety barge 
" Lady Clinton " for New York, we started at ten o'clock in an 
extra stage for Boston, by the way of Lebanon, Northampton, 
etc. We gave seventy dollars for the coach to convey the party 
of seven persons to Boston. 

Thursday, Sept. 4. — Left Lebanon after breakfast. To Pittsfield, 
seven miles ; to Hinsdale, nine ; to Peru, four, where we dined ; 
to Worthington, a neat, pretty little town, six ; to Chesterfield, six, 
where we lodged. 

Friday, Sept. 5 . — Fine westerly wind and clear weather. We 
left Chesterfield after breakfast and came to Northampton, thirteen 
miles. Everything looks delightful in this most beautiful town, 
which has improved much. We visited in the afternoon the Round 
Hill School, and were politely entertained by Mr. Bancroft. In 
the evening we went to a pleasant party at Mrs. Henry Gary's, of 
New York, who has been passing the summer in this place. 

Sunday, Sept. 7. — To Spencer, seven miles; to Leicester, five; 
to Worcester, six, to breakfast. Worcester is one of the finest 
towns in Massachusetts, and much improved within a few years. 
It is the residence of Governor Lincoln. The Blackstone canal 
commences at Worcester. To Needham, eight miles ; to Newton, 
four ; to Boston, by Brighton, nine. We entered the city by the 

i82S.] THE DIARY OF rillLTP HONE. 3 

Mill Dam road, about six o'clock, of a most beautiful Sunday 
afternoon. I shall never forget the delightful impression I received 
from this entree. We took lodgings at Mrs. Lekain's, Pearl street. 

Boston, Monday, Sept. 8. — After breakfast I commenced my 
Boston rambles, and saw most of the lions of this fine city. Mr. 
Quincy, the Mayor, took us through the new market- house, which 
is his hobby, and well worth seeing. The length of this splendid 
receptacle of beef, poultry, and potatoes is five hundred and thirty- 
six feet, its width fifty feet, and the improvement of the vicinity 
consequent upon its erection renders it an object of admiration. 
We visited Faneuil Hall, the armory, the noble art museum, its 
exhibition room (where at present is exhibited a collection of 
Stuart's portraits, for the benefit of his family), the new hotel 
building at the corner of Tremont and School streets, the docks, 
etc. After dinner, Mr. H. G. Otis called and took me out to 
Quincy to visit the President, but we found that he had departed 
suddenly this afternoon for Washington. We had, however, a 
pleasant ride, saw the Quincy railroad and quarry of granite, and 
returned to town by the way of Roxbury. In the evening I went 
for a short time to the theatre in Tremont street ; a handsome 
theatre, but not a first-rate company. 

Thursday, Sept, ii. — We rode out after dinner with the Mayor 
to see Quincy, etc. The railroad and granite quarry are objects 
of great curiosity, and are now in fine operation. On our return 
from the quarry we stopped to see a handsome edifice in the vil- 
lage of Quincy, — a new meeting-house, nearly finished. It is a 
beautiful piece of architecture, and its massy columns of granite 
are probably the best specimens of that fine material which have 
yet been brought into use. They are single shafts, formed each 
of an entire block, very perfect, twenty-five feet in height, and 
twelve feet eight inches in circumference. We took tea with Mrs. 
Quincy, and returned to Boston in the evening. 

Friday, Sept. 12. — This morning was employed in a visit with 
Mr. Otis to the City Hospital, and to the hospital for lunatics at 


Lechmore Point. The last-named establishment occupies a large 
house, formerly the residence of j\Ir, Barrell, to which spacious wings 
have been added, and several court-yards for the recreation of the 
patients. The arrangement of these courts and of the buildings 
admits of a classification of the patients, which has been much 
wanted in our asylum at Bloomingdale. I dined with an agreeable 
party at Mr. Otis's, and in the evening accompanied my daughter 
to a party at Mrs. Otis's, and another party at Mrs. Derby's. 

Sunday, Sept. 14. — Went to St. Paul's Church in the forenoon, 
and heard a sermon from Mr. Alonzo Potter, the pastor of that 
church. This gendeman is son-in-law to Dr. Nott, President of 
Union College. After dinner we rode out to Colonel Perkins's, 
at Brookline, where we took tea; and in the evening went to 
Mr. Otis's. Colonel Perkins has one of the finest places in the 
neighbourhood ; his wall fruit and grapery are justly celebrated, 
and are now in great perfection. 

Tuesday, Sept. 16. — We went on an excursion to Waltham, 
accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Tilden and Mr. Payne ; visited the 
celebrated seat and ground of Mr. Lyman, and the splendid man- 
sion of the late Governor Gore, where we were kindly received and 
entertained by Mrs, Gore. This great man has been dead eighteen 
months, and his widow has lived in retirement ever since. I dined 
at Gen. Theodore Lyman's, who lives in very handsome style, and 
has the best library I have seen in Boston. Passed the evening 
with a party at Mrs. Cunningham's. This lady, who is lately 
married, is the daughter of Rufus Amory. 

Friday, Sept. 19. — We started for Providence at twelve 
o'clock; came to Dedham, ten miles, to dinner. A fine morn- 
ing, with fair wind, made the latter part of our voyage very 
pleasant, and we arrived in New York at twelve o'clock noon, 
having performed the voyage from Providence in seventeen 
hours and a half. 

Wednesday, Oct. 15. — The following party dined with us: 
Lord Bishop Inglis, of Nova Scotia, his lady, and two daughters ; 


Mr. R. Cochran, Mr. Henry Hone, Mr. H. Brevoort, Mr. D. 
Lynch, Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Astor, Mr. C. and Miss Brugiere, 
Mr. Eugene Cruger. DecUned : Dr. Wainwright and lady. Bishop 
Hobart, Chancellor and Mrs. Kent, Mr. and Mrs. I. S. Hone, 
Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Ludlow, 
Rev. Mr. Schroeder. 

Wednesday, Nov. 5. — Mrs. Montgomery, widow of Creneral 
Montgomery, died this day at her residence on the Ncjrth river, 
aged eighty-six years. 

Saturday, Nov. 8. — This being the day fixed upon for the 
delivery of Dr. Hosack's eulogium on the character of the late 
Governor Clinton, which was prepared at the joint request of the 
Committee of Citizens and the Literary and Philosophical Society, 
I formed one of a large collection of gentlemen who assembled at 
the City Hall and walked in procession to the Middle Dutch 
Church. The doctor's oradon or memoir was extremely interest- 
ing, ami secured the attention of a highly respectable audience 
during the whole of its delivery, which occupied two hours and a 
quarter, although he left out one-half of that which he had pre- 
pared. This part will be restored in the publication of the work, 
and I am of the opinion that Dr. Hosack will add to his literary 
reputation by this elaborate and able production. 

Friday, Nov. 14. — Visited the Asylum this morning, accom- 
panied by Mr. Richards; dined with Mr. 1). S. Jones. On my 
return home, the Bishop, who had made an appointment with me 
at Mr. Jones's, called at my house and proposed in confidence 
the plan of a cathedral to be erected on Washington Square. 
The idea of a magnificent diocesan church is a very imposing one, 
and strikes my mind favourably, and it is certain that the location 
suggested by the Bishop is the best in the city, and can be ob- 
tained at a moderate price. Lidependently of the advantages 
which our church would derive from such an establishment, the 
erection of such an edifice would improve the property in its 
vicinity and render the square the most desirable residence in the 


city. But where is tlie money, where the pubUc spirit, where 
the liberaHty, to carry such a noble plan into execution? Above 
all, who will take a lead in it ? I cannot ; I am already engaged 
in more business of this kind than I can do justice to, and it has 
been my fate to be so often repulsed by the cold, calculating ob- 
jections of that portion of my fellow-citizens who have the ability 
to promote objects of public improvement, that I am discouraged 
from attempting again to encounter them. I note in this place 
the conference above mentioned, as it is possible that this glorious 
project may, one of these days, be carried into effect, and I 
beUeve this is the first time it has ever been hinted. Riding home 
from Mr. Jones's with Mr. Martin Van Buren, the governor-elect, 
I took occasion to interest him in the subject of the Delaware and 
Hudson canal, and hope he may be induced to direct, in his in- 
augural message, the attention of the Legislature to this object. 

Saturday, Dec. 6. — Chancellor Kent delivered an address this 
day before the Historical Society, — a most beautiful production, 
interesting in its details, affecting and impressive in its style, and 
read in a chaste and elegant manner. By the exertions of a few 
individuals this society has been resuscitated, its affairs relieved 
from embarrassment, the valuable library rescued from the neglect 
and confusion in which it has lain for years, the apartments cleaned 
and beautified, and the whole rendered entirely worthy of the 
patronage and support of the public. These important changes 
have been principally effected by the zeal, industry, and good 
taste of Mr. John Delafield, who has, for several months past, de- 
voted much of his time and attention to that object. 

Wednesday, Dec. 10. — I dined with Mr. Goold Hoyt, and in 
the evening attended, in the circuit court-room. City Hall, Judge 
Betts's introductory lecture to a course of commercial-law lectures 
which he has undertaken to deliver at the request of the ^Mercantile 
Library Association. The sloop "Toleration" arrived this day 
from Kingston with a cargo of coal, the first-fruits of the Dela- 
ware and Hudson canal. 


Thursday, Dec. i i . — Dined with Mr. Robert Lenox, and in 
the evening Anthon, Van Schaick, Isaac S. Hone, and their wives 
supped with us. 

Monday, Dec. 29. — The new Board of Common Council was 
organized this day, and proceeded to elect a Mayor for the en- 
suing year. The following was the result of the first ballot : 
For Walter Bowne, 25 ; Peter A. Jay, i; Philip Hone, i. Har- 
rison Gray Otis was elected a few days since to the office of 
Mayor of Boston. 



TT 7EDNESDAY, Jan. 14. — Being engaged from eleven 

* • o'clock this morning until nine in the evening as a juror 
on a difficult cause, I was prevented from dining with Mr. James 
G. King, as I intended. The officers of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society assembled at my house and supped, together with 
Chancellor Kent, Dr. Matthews, Messrs. Morse, Cole, and Sullivan 
as visitors. My detention in court prevented me from being at 
home when the company assembled. 

Tuesday, Jan. 20. — The long-talked-of fancy ball at Mrs. 
Brugiere's took place this evening. We were present, and much 
pleased. A large proportion of the company went in character ; 
the dresses were generally appropriate, some of them exceedingly 
splendid, and many of the characters were supported with much 
spirit. The rooms were crowded, but it went off well. 

Friday, Feb. 6. — I dined with Isaac S. Hone. In the evening 
attended a fancy ball at Mrs. Abraham Schermerhorn's, — a very 
splendid and delightful affair. 

Wednesday, Feb. i i . — I dined with Mr. Robert Maitland, 
and afterward met the officers of the Literary and Philosophi- 
cal Society, and supped at the house of the Rev. Dr. Wain- 

Tuesday, Feb. 17. — Died this morning, Simon, the celebrated 
cook. He was a respectable man, who has for many years been 
the fashionable cook in New York, and his loss will be felt on all 
occasions of large dinner and evening parties, unless it should be 
found that some suitable shoulders should be ready to receive the 
mantle of this distinguished cuisinier. 

Wednesday, April i . — A lot of ground on the west side of 
Broadway, nearly opposite Bowling Green, and next, I believe, to 

1829.] THE DIARY OF riilLIP HONE. 9 

Mr. Brevoort's, was sold at auction this day for $19,500, Lot 
about forty-four feet by one hundred and eighteen. 

Monday, April 6. — Tliis is the commencement of the second 
volume of my diary, which I began on the first day of last May, 
and have continued since, with tolerable regularity. I have occa- 
sionally introduced ' matters of trifling importance, and have 
omitted others which were entitled to a place ; but the employment 
has afforded me some pleasure, and after its use shall have become 
confirmed by longer practice, I have no doubt it will be more 
agreeable and exceedingly useful. 

Saturday, April i i . — Weekly attendance at the Bloomingdale 
Asylum. Dined with Mr. G. G. Rowland, where I met INIr. 
Jonathan Meredith, of Baltimore, the father of the very agreeable 
young lady whom we met last summer at the Springs, and subse- 
quently at Boston, and for whom it is a little expected that our 
host of to-day has conceived a tender penchant. 

Monday, April 13. — Went with my wife to Wallack's benefit at 
the Park Theatre, — a very great house. The play was "Julius 
Caesar : " Brutus, J. Wallack ; Cassius, H. Wallack ; Marc Antony, 
Hamblin ; Portia, Mrs. Barnes ; but notwithstanding this strong 
cast, it went off heavily, as this tragedy (intrinsically excellent as it 
is) always does. 

Monday, April 20. — I saw this day two celebrated personages, 
— the Indian chief. Red -Jacket, and the original of the Harvey 
Birch of Cooper's " Spy." The former is a venerable-looking old 
man, with gray hair, and less of the Indian in his looks and counte- 
nance than I would have expected ; and the latter is a tall old 
man, who looks in all respects the character which he has been 
made to assume. 

Wednesday, April 29. — Charles Kneeland, son of Mr. Henry 
Kneeland, was married this evening to Joanna Hone, only child of 
my deceased nephew, Philip J. Hone. He is a fine young man 
of excellent character, and the union promises to be a happy one. 
The wedding was celebrated at my brother John's. A large party 


supped, and tlie evening was passed very pleasantly for a wedding 

Tuesday, May 19. — The venerable, the patriotic, the virtuous, 
John Jay died on Tuesday last, at his seat, Bedford, Westchester 
County, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. The Supreme Court 
(which is now in session) adjourned at its hour of opening, as did 
the other courts now sitting. This delicate mark of respect was 
alike honourable to the feelings of the gentlemen constituting the 
several courts, as reverential to the memory of the illustrious de- 

Wednesday, May 27. — Immediately after dinner at home, I 
took ]\Iiss Helen Kane to the ship-yards to witness the launch of 
the ship " Erie," — a fine vessel, intended as one of the Havre line 
of packets, — whence I went to Abeel & Dunscomb's foundry to 
meet a large party of gentlemen who were assembled by invitation 
to see one of the new locomotive engines in operation, which was 
recently imported from England for the use of the railroad be- 
longing to the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. 

Thursday, May 28. — The second locomotive steam-engine 
which was imported for the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company 
was set in operation this afternoon at the works of the Messrs. 
Kemble, in presence of a large number of gentlemen, and suc- 
ceeded as well as the one I saw yesterday at Abeel & Dunscomb's. 

Saturday, June 6. — I accompanied the young Count Ney and 
Count Girardin to dine with Mr. Prime at Hurl Gate. The former 
gentleman brought me, on his arrival in this country, a letter from 
General Lafayette, and more recently, on his return from a visit to 
Count Survilliers (Joseph Bonaparte), a letter from my venerable 
friend, Count Real. He is the third son of the gallant Marshal 
Ney, Prince of Moskowa, whose brilliant career in arms and un- 
happy death have rendered him distinguished in the annals of 
Europe. The count is twenty-two years of age, and is said to 
resemble his father. The Count Girardin was a distinguished 
officer in the army of Bonaparte, and has seen much service. 


Tuesday, Aug. 4. — The house and lot No. 49 Wall street, 
recently occupied by the Pacific Insurance Company, twenty-nine 
feet on Wall street, and about one hundred and thirty feet deep, 
was sold this day at auction to Joel Post for $38,100, 

FRroAY, Nov. 27. — The Hon. Bushrod Washington, one of the 
judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, died yesterday 
at the Mansion House Hotel, Philadelphia, in the seventy-first year 
of his age. He had been engaged in holding the Circuit Court in 
New Jersey, and was taken ill in Philadelphia on his return. 



■pj^RIDAY, Feb. 5. — I dined with Mr. Charles McEvers, after 
-^ which I attended Professor Renwick's first lecture on the 
steam-engine. This lecture was confined to the doctrine and prin- 
ciples of heat and its application, and was illustrated by many 
beautiful experiments, in which the Professor was assisted by Dr. 
Eller. Professor Renwick's clear, familiar, and colloquial manner 
of lecturing is peculiarly satisfactory and interesting, and ex- 
tremely well calculated to impart instruction to his auditors. The 
lecture was attended by a large and respectable auditory of ladies 
and gentlemen. 

Thursday, March 4. — Died yesterday morning. Col. Richard 
Piatt, in his seventy-sixth year. This gentleman was a veteran of 
the Revolutionary War. He joined the army in 1775 as lieutenant 
in Colonel McDougal's regiment, was in the army which invaded 
Canada under General Schuyler, was acting adjutant-general under 
General Montgomery in the attack upon Quebec on the 3 1 st of 
December, 1775, and was deputy quartermaster-general at the 
surrender of the British army under Comwallis on the 21st of 
October, 1 7 8 1 . 

Tuesday, March 9. — The following party dined with us : Gen- 
eral Lewis, M. Livingston, G. G. Rowland, George Griffin, P. A. 
Jay, R. L. Patterson, A. Schermerhorn, President W. A. Duer, Mr. 
William B. Astor, P. G. Stuyvesant, Henry Cary, Chancellor Kent, 
Henry Hone, Richard C. Derby, Rev. Dr. Wainwright. 

Friday, March 12. — I left this morning on an excursion to 
Washington at six o'clock precisely. The steamboat "Thistle," 
belonging to the Union Line, started from the Battery, arrived at 
Brunswick before ten, and the passengers started immediately in 
nine post-coaches. We found the road verv fine, and took the 

1830.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 1 3 

Steamboat " Swan " seven miles below Trenton, on the Pennsyl- 
vania side of the Delaware. The Union Line has been running 
only nine days. It is exceedingly well conducted, and the accom- 
modations by land and water are very good. I arrived in Phila- 
delphia at six P.M., and put up at Head's Mansion House. 

Baltimore, Sunday, March 14. — The steam-packet was to 
have left Philadelphia at six o'clock yesterday morning, but did 
not till noon. I then started, and arrived at Newcastle on the 
Delaware at half-past four ; from thence in stages to French Town, 
where we again took a steamboat, and arrived here at half-past two 
this morning. I am very pleasantly lodged at Barnum's Hotel, 
Monument square. The Washington monument in Howard Park 
is nearly finished, being surmounted by the figure of the father of 
his country. It is well proportioned, and the material — a fine 
gray granite — is beautiful. The situation, on the slope of a hill, 
is well chosen to display the grandeur and simplicity of this noble 
specimen of art. 

I paid this morning a visit, which I have long been wishing for, 
to the venerable Charles Carroll, the only surviving signer of the 
Declaration of Independence. He will be ninety- four years of age 
next September. His faculties are very little impaired, except his 
sight, which within J;he last few months has failed a little, and de- 
prives him of the pleasure of reading at all times, which he has 
heretofore enjoyed. He is gay, cheerful, polite, and talkative. 
He described to me his manner of living : he takes a cold bath 
every morning in the summer, plunging headlong into it ; rides on 
horseback from eight to twelve miles ; drinks water at dinner ; has 
never drunk spirituous liquors at any period of his life, but drinks 
a glass or two of Madeira wine every day, and sometimes cham- 
pagne and claret ; takes as much exercise as possible ; goes to bed 
at nine o'clock, and rises before day. 

Wednesday, March 17. — Continual rain during the day con- 
fined me to the house until noon. I then walked out to pay a few 
visits, and dined with a very agreeable party at Mr. Robert 


Gilmor's. This gentleman lives in handsome style ; nobody in 
America gives better dinners or more exquisite wines. His collec- 
tion of pictures is very fine, and his house is filled with specimens 
of the fine arts and objects of taste and virtu. 

Thursday, March 18. — The morning being fine, Mr. Brown, 
one of the acting directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
Company, called after breakfast to take me out to see the com- 
mencement of this great work, which is the cause of so much pride 
and such sanguine expectations to the Baltimoreans. Besides Mr. 
Brown and myself, our party consisted of Professor McVickar and his 
daughter, of New York ; Mr. DeGrafife, of Schenectady ; Mr. Derby 
and two other Bostonians ; and Mr. Meredith. The wind being 
strong from the north-west, we were conveyed with great rapidity 
a short distance in a car propelled by sails, a very pleasant mode 
of travelling. 

Washington, Sunday, March 21. — I left Baltimore after break- 
fast, arrived here at two o'clock, and put up at Gadsby's. After 
dinner, I walked with Mr. C. P. White, member of Congress from 
New York, nearly to Georgetown. The weather is remarkably fine, 
and I met many of my acquaintances in my walk. 

Monday, March 22. — I called upon the Secretary of State this 
morning ; also upon the Secretary of the Navy ; Mr. Berrien, Attor- 
ney-General ; Mr. Huygens, Minister of the Netherlands; Mr. 
Vaughan, British Minister, etc. The remainder of the day until 
dinner was occupied at the Capitol. The Speaker gave me the 
entree to the floor of the House of Representatives, and Mr. Web- 
ster to the Senate and to the Supreme Court, which adjourned its 
session while I was present. I was introduced to the judges, and 
had the pleasure of a few minutes' conversation with that great and 
good man, John Marshall. 

Tuesday, March 23. — I dined with Mr. Vaughan, the British 
Minister. He lives in handsome style, and his dinners are more 
recherche than those of any other person here. Our party consisted 
of the following gentlemen : Messrs. Webster, Tazewell, Archer, 


McTavish, Cambreling ; Colonel Drayton ; Judge Vanderpoel, of 
New York ; Professor McVickar ; Baron Stackelberg, charge from 
Sweden ; Pedersen, from Denmark ; Neiderstetter, from Prussia ; 
Tacon, Minister Resident of Spain ; Mr. Bankhead, British Secre- 
tary of Legation ; and Count de Menon, charge of France. 

Wednesday, March 24. — I dined with Mr. Webster, where I 
met General Harrison ; Governor Tyler, of Virginia ; Mr. Edward 
Everett and Mr. Silsbee, of Massachusetts ; Mr. Grundy, of Ten- 
nessee ; Count de Menon ; Mr. Vaughan ; Mr. Devereux ; Professor 
McVickar, his daughter, etc. 

Thursday, March 25. — I called this morning with Mr. Webster 
to visit Mr. Adams, late President. His health and spirits are 
good, and we paid an agreeable visit. 

Friday, March 26. — I passed two or three hours this morning 
in returning visits, after which I went to the House. No business 
of importance is under consideration, but I have had an opportu- 
nity of talking with all the leading members. I infer from what I 
hear that the administration is losing ground. The proscriptive 
course which has been pursued in relation to removals and appoint- 
ments has served to cool their friends and to exasperate their ene- 
mies, and the difficulties which exist in the Senate in regard to 
several important nominations is considered an indication of public 
opinion. If Jackson succeeds for another term, it will be owing to 
the difficulty of agreeing upon his successor, rather than to the 
popularity of his administration. If DeWitt Clinton had lived, 
what a chance New York would now have had for a President ! As 
it is, I am inclined to think that Van Buren is the prominent candi- 
date. The Virginians say that if he had refused to take office with 
his present associates, or exerted himself to procure a better selec- 
tion, he would have been their candidate. 

Dined with Mr. Stevenson, Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives, where I met The following party: The Vice-President ; Mr. 
Tazewell ; Mr. Livingston, of Louisiana ; Drayton ; Poinsett ; Cam- 
breling ; General Harrison ; Martin White, of Florida ; C. P. White ; 

1 6 THE DIARY OF rilTIJP HONE. [^tat. 50. 

and General Wood. In the evening I went to a ladies' party at 
Mrs. Silsbee's. 

Baltimore, Monday, March 29. — I took my leave of the mag- 
nificent Wilderness at nine o'clock, and a very pleasant ride of five 
hours and a half brought me to Baltimore, I passed the first part 
of the day in walking and visiting, and dined at Mr. Meredith's 
with a very pleasant little party, consisting of Messrs. Gilmor, 
Fricke, Glenn, John Hoffman, Judge Randall, and Mr. Wirt. This 
is the first time during this visit that I have met the latter gentle- 
man. He was, as usual, gay, agreeable, and instructive. 

New York, Saturday, April 10. — Married, on Tuesday evening 
last, Byam Kirby Stevens, to Frances, daughter of Albert Gallatin. 

Wednesday, April 28. — The following party dined with us: 
Mr. and Mrs. Howland, Mr. Meredith, of Baltimore, Commander 
Chauncey, F. E. Granger, Mr. Charles Hammond, Thomas L. 
Ogden, Mr. Abr'm Ogden, S. S. Howland, Isaac S. Hone, Nath. 
Amory, James Stevenson, A. Schermerhorn, Edward R. Jones. 
Mr. Robert Gilmor joined us after dinner, immediately on his 
arrival from Baltimore. Mr. Bradish, who was expected from 
Albany, did not arrive. In the evening we went to a whist party, 
and supped at Mrs. Edgar's. 

Friday, April 30. — I attended, with my wife and daughters, 
the opening of the Spring exhibition of the National Academy of 
Design. A large number of ladies and gentlemen were assembled, 
and a collation was provided. The exhibition is better than usual, 
but the crowd was too great to admit of the pictures being seen to 
advantage. There are some fine pictures of Weir's. This artist is 
improving astonishingly. There are also some good things by 

Monday, May 10. — I went this morning with my wife and the 
girls to take leave of our friends who have sailed in the fine ship 
" De Rham " for Havre. We went down in the steamboat to the 
ship, which lay in the bay between Governor's and Bedlow's 
Islands. She has about thirty-six passengers, among whom are Mr. 

iS30.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 1 7 

and Mrs. Depau ; Miss Stephanie and Mr. Louis Depau ; Miss Mary 
E. Livingston, daughter of Maturin Livingston ; Capt. John B. Nicol- 
son, U.S.N. ; Mr. and Mrs. Breese ; Robert Cutting ; and a young 
son of James G. King. 

A match race was run on the Union course between Arietta, a 
Southern mare belonging to Colonel Johnson, and Ariel, belonging 
to Hamilton Wilkes ; and a race between Slender, a Virginia mare, 
and John C. Stevens's mare. Black Maria. Both these races were 
easily won by the Southern people, at considerable expense to our 

A singularly ridiculous article appeared under the signature of 
Mr. J. W. Webb in the " Courier and Enquirer " of this morning, 
of which he is editor, relating an account of a fracas between him 
and Duff Green in Washington on Thursday last. Webb went on 
to flog Green, and the latter armed himself with a pistol, and was so 
unreasonable as to refuse his consent to let the other pull his nose 
and slap his face. The public might say, with lago, in relation to 
this quarrel,— 

" Now whether he kill Cassio, 
Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other, 
Every way makes my gain." 

Friday, May 14. — I attended a meeting this evening, by invi- 
tation, at Dr. Wainwright's, of the Literary Club, which meet at 
stated periods at the houses of each other, consisting of Chancellor 
Kent, Mr. Gallatin, the professors of the college, and other gen- 
tlemen, with several strangers of eminence and learned acquire- 

Mo>roAY, May 31. — I went this evening to see Booth play lago 
to Cooper's Othello ; Desdemona, Mrs. Barnes. I do not remem- 
ber to have ever seen Booth, and was rather disappointed in his 
performance. It was respectable, but wanted spirit, raciness, and 
point ; but I do not wonder at it, for Cooper is a perfect wet- 
blanket resting upon all around, stale, flat, and unprofitable. Oh, 


most lame and impotent conclusion ! Is this the man whom I 
remember to have seen in my boyish days at the theatre, then in 
Greenwich street? We have both grown older, but I am only a 
looker-on in Verona, and am not compelled to obtrude my infirm- 
ities upon the public notice. Tant mieiix pour moi. 

Sunday, July 4. — I am wearing the black-silk vest which was 
presented to me on the 4th of July, 1827, and which was im- 
ported into New York in the year 1776. The condition of its 
acceptance was that I should wear it on every 4th of July during 
my life, and that it should descend to my oldest son. 

Monday, July 5 . — I dined with the Corporation pretty much 
in the usual way, — a mixture of public characters and of persons 
who should not have been invited. A poor dinner poorly served 
up and a want of tact and good management characterized this 
annual fete of the municipality. The presence of the new French 
Minister gave occasion to some speeches and toasts mutually 
complimentary to his country and its sovereign, and to the little 
sovereigns of our city. In the evening I walked down to Castle 
Garden with Lieutenant Cooke of the Fifteenth Regiment, British 
Infantry, who has just brought me a letter of introduction from 
Captain Hope at Quebec. We found this charming place filled 
with respectable, orderly people, and witnessed a good display of 
fireworks. The evening was fine, and the beauty of the scene 
made amends for some of the disgusting objects which our streets 
have exhibited during the day. 

Friday, July 16. — The following party dined with us: Mr. C. 
Bankhead, Secretary of the British Legation, and his lady ; Baron 
Krudener, Baron Stackelberg, Count Ney, Mrs. Cornwall, Mr. 
James Bowdoin, Dom. Lynch, James A. Hamilton, Isaac Hone. 

Ballston Springs, Wednesday, July 21. — We arrived in Albany 
at six o'clock this morning, breakfasted on board the boat, and 
started at eight o'clock in my barouche and a post-coach, and 
got to Sans-Souci at seven in the evening. Loomis's House has 
never been so full so early in the season as this. Among his 

iSjo.] THE DIARY OF rilTUP HONE. 19 

boarders we found Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Brown, Chevalier Iluy- 
gens and his family, Mrs. Joshua Jones and her daughter, Mr. 
Isaac I. Jones and wife, the Misses Mason, the families of Messrs. 
Kernochan, Parish, and Suffern, Mrs, Charles Clinton, Miss 
Joanna Anthon, the Misses Bridgen, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Hamilton 
and their family, INIajor Fowler, Mr. Hall, etc., which, with the 
addition of my large party, will form a formidable array at the 
breakfast table to-morrow morning. 

New York, Tuesday, Aug. 3. — Commencement of Columbia 
College at St. John's Church this morning. I attended during the 
whole time and was much interested in the exercises. The young 
gentlemen generally made a very respectable appearance. The 
first honours in the senior class were awarded to Franklin Miller, 
son of Sylvanus Miller, and in the junior class to Robert Emery, 
who is the head of his class. The degree of Bachelor of Arts was 
conferred upon James Bowdoin, Hugh T. Dickey, Benjamin F. Fer- 
guson, Lewis C. Gusen, Nicholas C. Heyward, George Kneeland, 
Jr., Edward Jones, John T. Kneeland, Henry Ledyard, Franklin 
Miller, Henry C. Murphy, Henry Nicoll, Charles H. Ogden, 
William Steele, Jr., William D. Waddington, and George Wm. 
Wright ; also upon William B. Boggs, Robert L. Cutting, and John 
Delafield, Jr., members of the senior class who are absent by per- 
mission. The degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon John 
M. Forbes and Henry J. Morton, the two young gentlemen who 
were on Sunday ordained deacons in Trinity Church, and also 
upon Hamilton Fish, J. Trumbull Backus, and Grenville Temple 
Winthrop. The Latin salutatory was delivered by Franklin Miller, 
the English salutatory by Henry Nicoll, and the valedictory by 
Edward Jones. 

Wednesday, Aug. 4. — I left home this morning at seven o'clock 
in the "Albany " with my wife, two sons, Miss Louisa Fairlie, and 
Miss Harriet Kane, who are to accompany us to the Springs. 

Ballston, Saturday, Aug. 14. — A fancy ball was given last 
evening at Sans-Souci, which was confined to the boarders in the 


house. It was gotten up at short notice, but went off remarkably 
well. The characters were supported by the following ladies : — 

Mrs. James Thomson, a Swiss peasant ; Mrs. Isaac Jones, la 
dame blanche ; Mrs. Talmadge, a black nun ; Miss Fairlie, a Bohe- 
mian fortune-teller ; Miss Lawrence, brigand's wife ; Miss Dennison, 
a Sultana ; Miss . French, French peasant ; Miss Mason, character 
from La Rossignol ; Miss Sarah Mason, Virginia ; Miss Margaret 
Hone, a white nun ; Miss Mary Hone, an Austrian peasant ; Miss 
Sarah Livingston, a Scotch lassie ; Miss Matilda Livingston, a 
Quakeress; Miss Harriet Kane, a French pedler; Miss Morris, 
a peasant. 

Gentlemen : Mr. P. Hone, Lord Ogilby ; Mr. James Thomson, 
Uncle Ben ; Mr. Cooper, Mrs. Lobden and a tiger ; Dr. Greenhow, 
Voltaire ; Mr. Van Zandt, a Tryolese hunter ; Mr. Van Schaick, 
Peter McGrowler ; Mr. John C. Hamilton, an astrologer ; General 
Fleming, a friar ; Judge Morris, a fireman ; Mr. Vail, a French vil- 
lage bridegroom ; Messrs. AUston, Schermerhorn, John P. Hone, and 
John Kane, four Austrian hussars ; Mr. John Mason, an Albanian ; 
Mr. Washington Coster, Scotch lassie ; Robert S. Hone, Bob, the 
sailor boy ; Mr. Carter Lee, Paul ; Mr. Whetton, an old gentleman. 

New York, Tuesday, Aug. 24. — Died yesterday. Col. Marinus 
Willet, aged ninety years and eleven days. His name is advan- 
tageously identified with the events of the Revolutionary War, in 
which he was a gallant soldier and distinguished officer. He was 
buried with the honours of war, and his funeral was attended by the 
Mayor and Corporation, the Society of Cincinnati, and by the 
members of the Court of Errors, now in session. 

Saturday, Aug. 28. — Our fair countrywoman, the Marchioness 
of Wellesley, granddaughter of the venerable Charles Carroll, has 
been appointed first lady of the bed-chamber to Queen Adelaide, 
consort of King William IV. 

Wednesday, Sept. i. — I went over to the Park Theatre to 
witness the first appearance in America of Charles Kean, the son 
of the celebrated tragedian. He appeared in his father's great 

1830.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP IIOXE. 21 

part, Richard III., and brought an overflowing house. But making 
every allowance for the disadvantages of a first appearance, I 
cannot perceive that he inherits any great proportion of his father's 
genius, and is, in my opinion, quite deficient in the requisite 
physical qualities of voice, figure, and deportment. Booth is play- 
ing tragedy at the Bowery Theatre, and I have no doubt will be 
greatly preferred by theatrical amateurs. 

Hyde Park, Saturday, Sept. i i . — The weather is delightful, 
and we have passed the day in walking and riding over Dr. Hosack's 
splendid grounds. Isaac and Eliza Hone came here this morning 
from Poughkeepsie, and Mr. Poinsett, accompanied by Don Lorenzo 
de Zavalla, Governor of Mexico, came in the steamboat. The 
doctor and I went to dine with Judge Pendleton, where we met 
Mr. Allen, Judge Johnson, Mr. James Duane Livingston, and Mr. 

MoxDAY, Sept. 13. — After breakfast, I went with my wife and 
Miss Eliza Hosack to visit at Governor Lewis's, Judge Pendleton's, 
and Mr. James Thomson's ; this latter superb place is in its usual 
fine order, and the weather enabled us to enjoy the splendid 
prospect to great advantage. Our visits were all. very pleasant, 
and our friends glad to see us. We returned home to dinner, 
and the remainder of the day was spent among the fine walks on 
the doctor's place, and in the literary delights of his splendid 

Wednesday, Sept. 15. — I attended this evening at the house of 
my niece, Mrs. Maria Hone, the wedding of Mr. William Wood, 
of Glasgow, who was married to my sweet young friend, Harriet 
Kane. May she be as happy as she is good and beautiful ! They 
intend to start on Friday on a journey to Niagara, and will probably 
sail for Europe about the ist of November. 

Thursday, Sept. 16. — The funeral of Bishop Hobart took place 
this afternoon, under the direction of the committee of arrange- 
ments appointed by the vestry, of which I was one. The proces- 
sion, embracing the governor, mayor of the city. Court of Errors, 

22 THE DIARY OF rillLir HONE. [^tat. 50, 

judges, vestry of Trinity Church, and the other vestries of Epis- 
copal churches, the several religious and literary and benevolent 
societies of which he was a member, and the clergy of different 
denominations to the number of more than one hundred, moved 
from his late residence in Varick street to Trinity Church, where 
the funeral service was performed by Bishop Moon, of Virginia, 
Mr. Schroeder, and Dr. Lyell, and a sermon was preached by Dr. 
Onderdonk. The procession is said to have contained five thousand 
persons, and the streets on its route were crowded with spectators. 
The church was filled almost to suffocation, but everything was 
conducted witla great decorum and propriety. The corpse is in- 
terred in the chancel, immediately under the communion table, and 
the grave is to be walled up and an arch to be thrown over it. 

Tuesday, Sept. 28. — The accounts from France, which were 
written after the excitement of the Revolution had in some degree 
subsided, are filled with interesting details, but no part of them 
excites so much admiration as those in which Lafayette is men- 
tioned. It seems to be allowed on all sides that to this veteran sol- 
dier of liberty the king owes his crown. If he had come out for 
a republic, his popularity was so great, and his influence over 
public opinion so absolute, that the great mass of the principal 
actors in the events of the 27th, 28th, and 29th of July would 
have been satisfied with nothing short of it, and, in all probability, 
the French people would now have been employed in cutting each 
other's throats instead of being settled quietly dowTi under a liberal 
form of government and a patriotic king, with as much liberty as 
the people of this country enjoy, but under another name. This 
great citizen of France has now seen, in his latter days, the predic- 
tions of his former life verified, and the glory and good fortune 
which accompanied him in the morning and meridian of his event- 
ful day have not deserted him at its close. 

What a strange, eventful period in the affairs of this world has 
been the brief fifty years during which I have been in it, and how 
interesting a moment in its history is the present ! 

1830.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 23 

Thursday, Oct. 14. — The fair of the American Institute has 
been held yesterday and to-day at Masonic Hall. The exhibition 
has embraced an immense variety of manufactures, — furniture of 
every description, and every object which the versatility of inven- 
tion and the ingenuity of our artisans and manufacturers could 
produce. In the evening Mr. Tristram Burgess, the great cham- 
pion of the American system, delivered an address before the 
members of the institution and a large number of spectators, at 
the new court-room in the apartments formerly of the American 
Museum. I had the misfortune to be one of the audience, and 
was tired out by a heavy, inappropriate jumble of far-fetched 
facts and unimaginable imaginings, and left the place before the 
oration was concluded. I marvel much that the members of the 
institute, with their professed aversion to importation, and their 
encouragement of home manufactures, should import nonsense 
from Rhode Island when we have so good a stock of the indige- 
nous article. 

Tuesday, Oct. 19. — Francis Child died at Burlington, Vt., 
a few days since, aged sixty-seven years. He established the New 
York " Daily Advertiser," the first daily paper in New York, the 
first number of which was published March i, 1785. 

Monday, Oct. 25. — This day completes my fiftieth year, and 
we had a large family party to celebrate it. The party consisted 
of Mr. and Mrs. Anthon, Miss Caroline Anthon, Mr. and Mrs. 
I. S. Hone, Mr. Van Schaick, Mr. and Mrs. William Wood, Miss 
Charlotte Kane, Miss Joanna Anthon, Dr. and Mrs. Matthews, Mr. 
and Mrs. Henry Hone, Mrs. Maria Hone, Mr. and Mrs. Charles 
Kneeland, Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Howland. 

Thursday, Oct. 28. — I rented the shop and cellar of Clinton 
Hotel for five years from May next, at $700 for the first two and 
gSoo for the last three years, to Joshua Leavitt, bookseller for 
Mr. Appleton. 

Thursday, Nov. 18. — One of the locomotive engines on the 
Liverpool and Manchester Railroad traversed the distance between 


the two places, thirty-two miles, in thirty-three minutes, — about 
fifty-eight miles an hour ! 

Monday, Nov, 22. — Master Burke, a precocious Roscius from 
the Emerald Isle, who arrived on Thursday from Liverpool, 
made his first appearance this evening at the Park Theatre in 
"Nor\Ml," and Dr. O'Toole, in the "Irish Tutor." I saw him 
for a short time in the farce, and think him a remarkably clever 

Sunday, Nov. 27. — Yesterday took place the New York cele- 
bration of the late revolution in France. The procession, divided 
into sixteen divisions, was formed in Canal street, with its right on 
the North river and extending up Broadway. At ten o'clock the 
line of march was formed and went down Broadway to the Park, 
around the Park, up Chatham street and the Bowery to Broome 
street, down Broome street to Broadway, up Broadway to Fourth 
street, down Fourth street to the Washington parade-ground. At 
this place a stage had been erected, on which the following cere- 
monies were performed : A prayer by the Rev. Mr. Day ; an 
address to the French people, written by Mr. John Duer, was 
read ; the oration, by Mr. Samuel L. Gouvemeur ; after which the 
Marseillaise hymn and an ode prepared for the occasion by Samuel 
Woodworth were sung by the choir. 

I rode during the day and superintended the whole as chairman 
of the committee of arrangements. The procession was so long 
that when the right entered Broadway from Broome street, the 
military, who formed an unusually splendid array, had not yet left 
Canal street, and when we arrived at the parade-ground, the whole 
were not yet in motion. The whole route must have been two 
miles and a half. The ex- President, Monroe, drove in his 
carriage, as did Mr. Gallatin and the orator and reader of the 
address. An interesting group occupied a barouche, consisting of 
Anthony Glenn, who raised the flag at the fort on the retreat of 
the British, 25th of November, 1783; John Van Arsdale, the 
sailor who mounted the staff to remove the obstructions : and the 


identical flag itself, which has been preserved in Scudder's Museum. 
This group of octogenarians was completed by David Williams, the 
survivor of the three captors of Major Andr^, and Enoch Crosby, 
the Har\'ey Birch of the Revolution. The president, faculty, and 
students of Columbia College were conspicuous in the procession, 
and the citizens of France, with their splendid banner, made a 
proud display. Their banner was formally presented on the 
ground to the first division of artillery. Among the trades and 
societies the most prominent were the fire department, with their 
beautiful engines, badges, and other decorations, to the number of 
fifteen hundred persons ; the printers, who were employed at two 
places in striking off and distributing among the multitude copies 
of the ode, etc. ; the butchers on horseback, to the number of three 
hundred, in leg-of-mutton sleeves ; the cartmen on horseback in 
white frocks ; a steamboat with her steam up and machinery in 
motion ; the famous Whitehall boat, carried by the pilots and water- 
men ; and a great many stages, displaying the emblems of different 
trades, and on which mechanical operations were carried on during 
the march. The procession was closed by the military, who 
formed on the grounds north of the square and fired a fcu-dc-joie 
after the civic ceremonies were concluded. 

Sunday, Nov. 28. — I made a pleasant visit this morning to 
Colonel Monroe, ex- President of the United States, who is residing 
with his son-in-law, Mr. S. Gouverneur, in Prince street. Mr. 
Monroe is very feeble and appears in worse health than usual, the 
effect of a cold ; but his mental faculties are unimpaired, and his 
manner and conversation are exceedingly interesting. 

Saturday, Dec. 18. — Moore, Giraud, and I went yesterday to 
dine at Delmonico's, a French rcstauratcin-, in "William street, which 
I had heard was upon the Parisian plan, and very good. We sat- 
isfied our curiosity, but not our appetites ; and I think are prepared, 
when our opinions are asked, to say with the Irishman who used 
lamp-oil with his salad instead of olive-oil, that if it were not for 
the name of the thing he had as lief eat butter. 


Friday, Dec. 24. — Mr. Ball Hughes's model for the statue of 
Hamilton, on which he has been employed for a long time past, 
being now completed, the committee who were named to decide 
upon its merits assembled at the atelier of the artist, at twelve 
o'clock. Of that committee were present : Mr. Wilkes, Dr. 
Hosack, Colonel Trumbull, and myself; and of the Exchange 
committee, Messrs. Woolsey, Tibbits, Wyckoff, and George Gris- 
wold, with Messrs. D. B. Ogden and James R. Murray. The 
fullest testimony of approbation was unanimously given, and I have 
no doubt that if the artist finishes the statue agreeably to the prom- 
ise given by the model, it will be the best piece of statuary in the 
United States. 



OUNDAY, J.\N. 2. — A decidedly pleasant day, the first I be- 
*^ lieve during the present autumn and winter. I paid a few 
visits which were left over from yesterday. The old custom of 
visiting on New Year's Day, and the happy greetings which have so 
long been given on that occasion, have been well kept up this year. 
I am glad of it ; few of those good old customs remain which mark 
the overflow of unsophisticated good feeling, and I rejoice when- 
ever I can recognize any part of the wreck which the innovations 
of fashion have left afloat. 

Wednesday, Feb. 2. — The following gentlemen were on 
Monday last elected officers of the new university in this city : 
Albert Gallatin, president of the council ; Morgan Lewis, vice- 
president ; John Delafield, secretary ; Samuel Ward, treasurer ; 
James M. Mathews, D.D., chancellor of the university. 

On the 8th of December a grand dinner was given 
inner o , ^j^^ Americans in Paris to General Lafayette, the 

Lafayette. -' ■' ' 

account of which is very interesting from the circum- 
stance of so many Americans of my acquaintance having been 
engaged in it. James Fenimore Cooper, of New York, presided, 
assisted by Peter Schermerhorn, of New York, and Capt. John 
Nicolson, U.S.N. Among the guests were Mr. Serrurier, 
Minister to the United States ; Odillon Barrot, Prefect of the 
Seine ; Gen. Matthias Dumas, adjutant-general of the National 
Guards ; ^L Du Perron, grandson-in-law of Lafayette ; Mons. De 
Remusat, deputy, and grandson-in-law of the General ; General 
Carbonel ; Mons. Joubert ; Mr. Rives, American Minister ; Charles 
de Lameth, deputy of Paris, who fought and was wounded at 
Yorktown ; George W. Lafayette ; Jules de Lasteyrie, etc. 

Tuesday, Feb. 22. — I went this evening with my wife and 


daughters to the Assembly, where I was introduced to Mr. Serru- 
rier, the new French Minister, and conversed with him about the 
late occurrences in France. He speaks in the highest terms of the 
conduct of Lafayette in the affair of the ex-ministers of Charles X. 
His firmness and courage contributed greatly to preserve the peace 
of Paris in that interesting crisis. Mr. Serrurier regrets his resig- 
nation of the command of the National Guard, and considers it 
somewhat hasty. But the General has desired him to state to his 
American friends that it did not arise from any motives of a per- 
sonal nature. 

Saturday, March 12. — The following gentlemen dined with 
us : Judge Spencer, Judge Irving, ]Mr. John Hone, Dr. Hosack, 
Mr. Granger, Governor Coles, Judge Oakley, General Scott, 
Chancellor Kent. 

And thus endeth the third volume of my diary. It has become 
a habit with me to write in it, and affords me pleasure. It is 
not like writing letters, which may be done or let alone, and 
becomes, therefore, a task, and as such is more or less irksome ; 
but this is part of my daily occupation. If I should live some 
dozen or twenty years I shall enjoy the retrospection, or my 
children, if they revere the memory of their father, will, in turning 
over the pages of this book, have something to remind them of 
him, — something that will "prate of his whereabouts," and inform 
them how he thought and what he did " about these times." 

March 15. — Went this morning to see the Siamese 
Tw^r^ boys, who returned last week from England. I did 

not see them when they were exhibited formerly in this 
city. This astonishing freak of nature is exceedingly interesting, 
and the sight of it is not disagreeable, as I expected to find it. 
They are now nearly twenty years old, kind, good-tempered, and 
playful; their limbs are well proportioned and strong, but their 
faces are devoid of intelligence, and have that stupid expression 
which is characteristic of the natives of the East. They are united 
by a strong ligament of flesh or gristle, without bone, about three 

1S31.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 29 

inches in breadth and five in length. Their movements are, of 
course, simultaneous. They walk, sit down, play, eat and drink, 
and perform all the functions of nature in unison ; their disposi- 
tions and their very thoughts are alike ; when one is sick the other 
partakes of his illness, and the stroke of death will, no doubt, lay 
them both in the same grave ; and yet their bodies, heads, and 
limbs are all perfect and distinct. They speak English tolerably 
well, and appear fond of talking. 

Bachelor's Friday, March 1 8, — This splendid affair, so long 

Grand Fancy the thcmc of Conversation and the subject of prepara- 
^'''"* tion, took place this evening at the City Hotel, and I 

believe no expectations had been formed which were disappointed 
by the result. The rooms were handsomely fitted up with mirrors, 
curtains, pier tables, and lamps ; the supper tables were splendidly 
and most abundantly furnished. The number of guests was very 
great, of which about one-third appeared in fancy dress, some of 
which were well conceived and supported with wit and address ; 
and others failing in those respects were thought by some to make 
up in magnificence and lustre. It is not necessary for me to go 
into the particulars of a catalogue raiso?ine, and if it were, " I am 
not i' the vein," and I think my time will be better spent in read- 
ing Moore's " Byron." My daughter Mary went as " Sweet Anne 
Page," and looked sweetly in the costume of Leslie's inimitable 
picture. The rest of us went sans caracfcre, — my wife and I, 
because we were too old to join the " Masquers and Mummies ; " 
John, because a sprained ankle had prevented him for several days 
past from making his preparations ; Robert, because he couldn't ; 
and Margaret, because she wouldn't. Our party was graced by the 
addition of our fi.\ir visitor, Helen Kane, who was said to look well 
for an Albanian. Mrs. Hughes, as a flower girl, was very naive 
and lively, and distributed to each of her friends an appropriate 
flower, with a pretty card describing its attributes, and conveying 
her good wishes to those whom she selected as the recipients of 
her favours. 


Monday, March 28. — Left home on a fishing excursion to 
Long Island with Giraiul. The weather was doubtful, but improved 
in the course of the day. Dined at Timothy Carman's, and went 
to Jackson's, where we lodged. Mr. Morris and Mr. Constant were 
here, having overtaken us at dinner-time. 

Friday, April i. — A gale from the north-west. We went on 
the pond after breakfast, and caught a fine mess of fish to take 
home. A deer crossed the creek near the boat while we were fish- 
ing. Mr. Giraud and I have taken sixty-five trout. After dinner 
we started for home at three o'clock, intending to go no further 
than Jackson's ; but our horses were fresh, and we came on to Tim- 
othy Carman's, where we lodged. Immense quantities of wild-fowl 
have been killed in the bay this week. A man had at Babylon 
this evening, on his way to the New York market, six hundred 

Saturday, April 2. — Went to dine at Isaac's with a party, 
among whom were Messrs. Sturgis and Cabot, of Boston. I added 
a handsome mess of fresh trout to the dinner. 

Wednesday, April 6. — Mr. John Mason was elected, on Monday 
last, president of the Chemical Bank, in place of Mr. B. P. Melick. 

Wednesday, April 20. — While I was shaving this morning at 
eight o'clock, I witnessed from the front window an encounter in 
the street nearly opposite, between William C. Bryant and William 
L. Stone ; the former one of the editors of the " Evening Post," and 
the latter editor of the " Commercial Advertiser." The former 
commenced the attack by striking Stone over the head with a cow- 
skin ; after a few blows the men closed, and the whip was wrested 
from Bryant and carried off by Stone. When I saw them first, two 
younger persons were engaged, but soon discontinued their fight. 
A crowd soon closed in and separated the combatants. 

Saturday, April 30. — A public dinner was given on Thursday 
last to G. C. Verplanck, Esq., member of Congress from this city, 
by the literati, artists, and booksellers, avowedly for his exertions 
to procure the passage of the copjTight law. Judge Irving was 

1831.] THE DIARY OF rilll.IP HONE. 3 1 

president, and Professor Renwick and Mr. Dunlap, vice-presidents. 
Mr. Verplanck made a long speech, which is much praised by those 
who were present. 

MoxDAY, May 2. — The following party dined with us: Sir 
William Campbell, late Chief Justice of Canada ; James Maury, 
late Consul to Liverpool ; Luther Bradish ; James G. King ; Capt. 
James Rogers ; Isaac S. Hone ; Charles McEvers ; Isaac Carow ; 
Rutsen Maury ; G. G. Rowland ; James Haggerty. 

Thursday, May 5. — It is an interesting and gratifying subject of 
reflection that our country at large, and particularly this city, is at 
this time prosperous beyond all former example, and somewhat 
remarkable that different interests, usually considered opposed to 
each other, are equally successful. Foreign commerce is in a 
thriving condition ; vessels are worth fifty per cent, more than they 
were two years since, and freights are nearly double ; real estate, 
up and down town, equally high ; houses in great demand, at 
advanced rents ; the dealers in imported goods doing a safe and 
profitable business ; the farmer selling his wool at seventy-five cents 
per pound, which two years ago was worth only thirty-seven and 
one-half cents per pound, and availing himself of the increased 
price of bread-stuffs, occasioned by the brisk foreign demand ; the 
manufacturers, both of woollen and cotton goods, fully employed, 
and doing better than at any former period ; and the lawyers doing 
nothing. This is cause of great exultation to our citizens, and 
should- inspire them with gratitude to the Dispenser of all good 
things. We are more apt to complain when things go wrong than 
to be thankful when they go right. 

Monday, May 9. — The city is now undergoing its usual annual 
metamorphosis ; many stores and houses are being pulled down, 
and others altered, to make every inch of ground productive to its 
utmost extent. Pearl street and Broadway in particular are ren- 
dered almost impassable by the quantity of rubbish with which 
they are obstructed, and by the dust which is blown about by a 
keen north-west wind. 


Saturday, May 21. — I went with the girls to Hoboken this 
afternoon, and had a dehghtful walk on the high banks nearly to 

I received this day a letter from Samuel F. B. Morse, dated at 
Rome, February 15. He informs me that he has shipped for me 
at Leghorn a fine portrait by himself of Thorvaldsen, the cele- 
brated sculptor, and a cast executed by that artist of the " Triumph 
of Alexander the Great," from the original bas-relief made for the 
Marquis Sommariva, 

Tuesday, May 24. — Died on the 1 7th inst., at Rochester, Col. 
Nathaniel Rochester, in the eightieth year of his age. He was an 
officer in the Revolutionary War, and removed from his native 
State to Steuben County in this State in 1802, soon after which 
he removed to the village of Rochester, a great part of which he 
o\vned. It is now a town of considerable magnitude, the wonder 
of the western empire of New York. 

Thursday,' July 5 . — In the midst of the festivities of the cele- 
bration of independence yesterday, the death of James Monroe 
was announced. He died at the house of his son-in-law, Mr. 
Samuel L. Gouverneur, in this city. This venerable patriot has 
been ill and his life despaired of for some months past, and he 
seems to have lingered until this time to add to the number of the 
Revolutionary patriots whose deaths have occurred on this memo- 
rable anniversary. Of four ex-Presidents who have died, three have 
departed on the 4th of July, and of this number two, who were 
signers of the august instrument which declared the political birth 
of our country, died on the fiftieth anniversary, 4th of July, 1826. 
Mr. Monroe has now made the third, and has closed his mortal 
career, respected and honoured by his countrymen. Measures will 
be adopted by the civil and military authorities to render his 
funeral obsequies worthy of his character and the important ser- 
vices he has performed and the exalted stations he has filled. 

Monday, July i i . — The hard rains have been followed by 
bright, cool weather and clear skies. I attended by invitation a 

1831.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP IIOXE. 33 

fete chanipctre given by the Messrs. Stevens at the Elysian Fields 
above Hoboken. This beautiful spot has been cleaned, the grounds 
laid out with great taste, and a handsome pavilion erected, as a 
place of public resort connected with the ferry. At three o'clock, 
the company, consisting of about two hundred gentlemen, as- 
sembled on board the steamboat " Chief Justice Marshall." Among 
them were the mayor and corporation, and many other public 
characters, and a number of the Stevens's personal friends. 

"When we arrived on the ground, we were conducted to a spot in 
the woods enclosed by flags, and decorated in a tasteful manner, 
where tables were spread, and a dinner of turtle soup and every 
refreshment furnished to the guests which the taste and liberality 
of our entertainers had taught us to expect. Some time after our 
arrival, the party was increased by the New York and Jersey City 
Boat Clubs, who came in their several boats, dressed in white 
jackets and trousers, round chip hats, and checked shirts, the be- 
coming costume of the clubs. John Stevens presided at the feast, 
with spirits as abundant and sparkling as his champagne ; and the 
beautiful grove, under the branches of which we were seated, 
echoed the sounds of merriment and good-humour, inspired by the 
toasts, the songs, and the laughter, to which each guest seemed dis- 
posed to contribute his share. 

Monday, Aug. i . — Col. Richard Varick died on 
c\ v" ■ k Saturday night at his residence, Jersey City, in 
the seventy-ninth year of his age, of cholera morbus. 
He complained of lameness in his feet when I last saw him, which 
was about a fortnight since, but his general health was good. He 
attended, as president of the Society of Cincinnati, the corporation 
dinner on the 4th ult., and was a pall-bearer at the funeral of 
President Monroe on the 7th ult. Measures are taking to pay 
great respect to his memory. General orders are issued for the 
Division of Artillery. The Society of Cincinnati have announced 
his death, and the order of the funeral ceremonies under direction 
of Gen. ]\Iorgan Lewis, vice-president. Both houses of the Com- 


mon Council and the Court of Sessions, which were sitting, ad- 
journed this morning on the announcement of his death. The 
pall-bearers at Colonel Varick's funeral are : Lynde Catlin, Peter 
A. Jay, Col. Aaron Ogden, Col. John Trumbull, John Pintard, 
William W. Woolsey, Chancellor Kent, Col. Nicholas Fish. 

Friday, Aug. 5. — I left Albany this morning at 
Saratoga eight o'clock, in company with Messrs. Charles Graham, 

Springs. o J r J j 

Lispenard Stewart, Fehrman, and my son John, and 
after an exceedingly pleasant ride came to Congress Hall and 
got very good colonial quarters, near the bath-house. We were 
delighted this morning with the view of the Cohoes Falls ; the rains 
this season have been frequent, and the river rushes in an entire 
sheet, covering the whole face of the rock. I have never before seen 
the water so high, nor consequently the cataract so fine. The 
wreck of a canal-boat is on the edge of the great dam, where she 
was wrecked yesterday. Her towing line was broken by the force 
of the current while passing below the bridge, and she was carried 
down to the place where she now lies. The only man on board 
and her cargo of firewood were saved. 

Congress Hall is filled with company, amongst whom are many 
distinguished men and fine women, and nearly about the usual 
proportion of people who are neither distinguished nor fine, but 
rich, and that, in their opinion, entitles them to more consideration 
than either. Amongst the first description of persons are Mr. 
Buchanan, .of Pennsylvania, who they say is to supply the place of 
Mr. Randolph, our extraordinary Minister to Russia ; Meredith ; 
Gilmor ; Gibbes ; Hoffman ; and Martin, of Maryland ; Jonathan 
Mason and George Blake, of Massachusetts ; Mr. and Mrs. How- 
land ; the Cuttings ; Carys ; my brother and sister ; Mrs. Abbott ; 
Oliver Kane and his daughters ; William Sullivan, of Boston, and 
his pretty daughter ; Miss Fulton ; Mrs. Davis ; Mr. and Mrs. 
Dickenson ; the Tayloes, etc. 

Tuesday, Aug. 9. — A party of us went out to dine yesterday 
at Barhuyt's, consisting of General Van Rensselaer, Mr. Meredith, 

1S31.] THE DIARY OF nillJP HONE. 35 

Charles E. Davis, Morgan Gibbes, G. G. Howlan.l, Mr. J. Hare 
Powel, R. Gilmor, J. I). Dickenson, T. L. Gibbes, D. Lynch, 
Crafts, and myself. The old man gave us several dishes of his 
little trout fried, two chickens, and that was all ; but he charged us 
well. The party, however, was gay and the conversation brilliant, 
and Lynch sang for us. The fashionables are leaving Saratoga 
in great numbers, and no new-comers supply their places. Some 
go to New York, some to Lake George, and others to Lebanon. 

HoxESDALE, Sunday, Aug. 21. — I went to church this morning, 
and after an early dinner left Carbondale in a wagon with Captain 
Goodale and Mr. Archbald and came to this place by the way of 
Canaan. I never witnessed a more reverential observance of the 
Sabbath than in both these villages ; notwithstanding the vast 
number of workmen, amongst whom are a large proportion of 
Irish and Welsh people, who are employed as miners and other- 
wise, all occupation has ceased ; the coal valley which resounded 
yesterday with the noise of machinery, the rattling of cars, the 
explosion of gunpowder, and the clinking of pickaxes is now as 
still as the tomb of the Capulets ; and the miners who were yester- 
day begrimed with coal and looked like citizens of the nether world 
are seen this morning on their way to church, clean and well 
dressed, with long coats and gilt buttons, high shirt-collars, and 
brooches in their bosoms. So much for a good example ; the 
company suspends its operations of every sort on Sunday. 

New York, Thursday, Sept. 8. — A meeting was held at five 
o'clock this afternoon at the Merchants' Exchange, of which Pre- 
served Fish was chairman and Jonathan Goodhue secretary, at 
which delegates were appointed to attend the Free Trade Con- 
vention at Philadelphia, on the 30th inst., and resolutions 
passed disapproving the tariff laws, and expressing a determina- 
tion to take measures to procure a modification of them by the 
next Congress ; the following are the names of the delegates : 
Albert Gallatin, James Kent, Stephen Allen, Morgan Lewis, 
Peter A. Jay, Jacob Lorillard, David B. Ogden, James Boorman, 

^6 THE DIARY OF I'lIILir HONE. [/Etat. 51. 

Henry J, Wyckoff, Zebedee Ring, Benjamin L. Swan, James G. 
King, John A. Stevens, James Heard, Frederick Sheldon, Charles 
H. Russell, Stephen Smith, Silas M. Stilwell, Moses H. Grinnell, 
Preserved Fish, Isaac Bronson, John Haggerty, Thomas R. Mer- 
cein, Isaac Carow, John L. Crary, J. T. Trimble, George Gris- 
wold, J. McVicar, H. Kneeland, Jonathan Goodhue. 

Wednesday, Sept. 14. — A fatal duel was fought at St. Louis, 
Mo., on August 26, between Major Biddle, paymaster of the 
United States Army, and Spencer Pettis, Esq. ; the former was 
brother to Nicholas Biddle, of Philadelphia, president of the Bank 
of the United States, and to Commodore Biddle of the navy, and 
the latter was recently elected a member of Congress. They- 
fought at five feet distance, and were both mortally wounded on 
the first discharge. Mr. Pettis died on the same day and Major 
Biddle on the following. The quarrel originated in political dif- 
ferences and in the publication of an article written by Biddle to 
operate against Pettis's election. 
_, . ^ Friday, Sept. 2^. — Having received an invitation 

Excursion to J o & 

Albany and to visit the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, I proposed 
w est Point. ^^ ^j^g gj^jg ^^ ^^|,g them with me, and leave them at 

West Point until my return from Albany. I started this afternoon, 
at five o'clock, in the steamboat " DeWitt Clinton." The weather 
had been bad all day, and was still very doubtful when we left 
home, but soon became pleasant. The rest of the party landed at 
West Point, and I continued on my way to Albany. I went to the 
American Hotel, and after breakfast joined a large party at the 
Eagle Tavern. We proceeded in carriages under the orders of Mr. 
Cambreling, the superintendent, to the starting-place on the rail- 
road, about two miles from the city. The road from this point is 
finished, a distance of twelve and a half miles, nearly level. The 
inclined planes at each end of the road are finished. The whole 
length of the railroad when completed will be fifteen miles and 
a half. 

Sunday, Sept. 25. — My intention of going to church this mom- 


ing was frustrated by a pressing invitation from Cambreling to take 
another ride on the railroad with Bucknor and Edward Prime, who 
came up last evening. We started at ten o'clock, under the orders 
of Cambreling and Mr. DeGruff, who has been master of the cere- 
monies on this occasion, and we returned with the American loco- 
motive twelve and a half miles in thirty-seven minutes, which is at 
the rate of twenty miles an hour, — quite fast enough in all con- 
science, and exceedingly pleasant. 

Monday, Oct. 3. — The anti-tariff, or free-trade, 
convention assembled in Philadeli)hia on Thursday last, 

Convention. ' ■' ' 

but the accounts this morning state that they had not 
organized by the appointment of officers. What can they want ? 
At least, what can the delegates from New York have to complain 
of, in thus lending their aid to the excited politicians of the 
South to destroy a state of prosperity unexampled in the history of 
our country? If the system of protecting duties should be aban- 
doned, our great manufacturing interests will be prostrated ; the 
wholesome competition with foreign countries which now keeps 
down the prices of imported goods will exist no longer. Foreign- 
ers will receive the benefit of the reduction of duties, and con- 
sumers will be compelled to pay double for everything of foreign 
manufacture. The opinion of New York is not expressed in this 
convention ; our meeting was gotten up by two or three persons, 
not to obtain the sentiments of our citizens on the propriety of 
uniting with the nullifiers of the South, for in that they would have 
failed, but the friends of the measure only were called, and dele- 
gates were appointed, in the number of whom are many of our 
most respected citizens ; but the names of several were used with- 
out their consent, and although some of them declined as soon as 
they saw their names published, on the ground of their opposition 
to the proceedings, the managers had not the candour and fiiirness 
to publish their declinations, but were willing to avail themselves of 
the influence which the use of such names would exercise upon 
public opinion in other States, where their disapprobation could not 


be known. Chancellor Kent is one of the number of those whose 
names, so well known and so much respected, are permitted to 
stand on the list of delegates. He was at my house last evening, 
and told me that he sent in his resignation immediately, because he 
disapproved of the proceeding, and was not opposed to the tariff. 
But this artifice has accomplished its object, and James Kent is 
quoted as one of the good and great men of New York who sanc- 
tion a measure opposed to the true interest of our State and city. 
Verily, we are an unthankful people, and one that waxes fat and 

Monday, Oct. 10. — The convention which has been sitting in 
Philadelphia adjourned on Friday evening, sine die. An address 
was reported by Judge Berrien, late Attorney-General of the United 
States, in which the tariff laws were declared to be unconstitutional. 
This occasioned some difficulty. Mr. Gallatin, from this city, 
moved to strike out that part, which motion was negatived. Of our 
delegates, sixteen had the grace to vote for striking out, and four, — 
Fish, Leonard, Bergh, and Kneeland, — against it; and the address 
was carried, one hundred and fifty-eight to twenty-nine. Thus the 
Southern nullifiers have accomplished their object, in getting New 
York to go with them ; for although the delegates from this city do 
not represent this community, and were appointed nobody knows 
how, yet they will be claimed by the Southern people, who had ral- 
lied all their forces and out-voted our men, and were, in fact, rep- 
resentatives of their respective States. This is the way we are 
always managed. Such men as Gallatin, Griswold, Carow, and 
King should never have meddled in this concern, or should have 
protested and seceded from the convention when a proposition so 
monstrous as the denying to Congress the constitutional right to 
pass these laws was about to be adopted. Those gentlemen thought, 
no doubt honestly, that it was inexpedient and oppressive to pass 
laws which they considered unequal in their operation ; but they 
are too enlightened to believe for a moment that those laws are un- 
constitutional. It is but a short time since they took the lead in 


paying a merited compliment to Mr. Webster for his manly and 
eloquent defence of the Constitution against the nullifying doctrines 
of the South, and now we see them bound hand and foot, and led 
forth to grace the triumph of his adroit competitors. 

Thursday, Oct. 13. — Mr. Anderson, who came out 
owattic \^^^.\y from England, was announced this evening at 
the Park Theatre, for his first appearance in America, in 
the character of Henry Bertram in the opera of " Guy Mannering." 
The house was filled by persons who had prepared to assist in or 
witness the riot which was expected. He is said to have behaved 
ill on the passage and abused the Yankees, and a quarrel with the 
mate was settled after his arrival by the latter giving him a flogging, 
the effects of which has prevented him from appearing until now. 

Saturday, Oct. 15, — Mr. Anderson was announced again for 
this evening in the part of Henry Bertram. The house was filled 
very early to suffocation. When I went in the whole interior was 
a solid mass of men. Not a single female present, except two or 
three in the upper tier. The first part of the opera was listened to, 
and when Mrs. Sharpe appeared she was received with the most 
marked approbation, intended, no doubt, as the amende honorable 
for the share which she was compelled to receive of the ill-treat- 
ment intended for Mr. x\nderson on Thursday. At the commence- 
ment of the second act, previously to the time when he should 
have appeared, Simpson came forward and attempted to read his 
apology. This was the signal for the commencement of the riot, 
and from that time the disturbance continued during the whole 
night. Apples, eggs, and other missiles were showered upon the 
stage, and although Barry announced that the unhappy wight was 
withdrawn who had committed the unatonable offence which 
called down the vengeance of the sovereigns, and that the 
play would be changed, they would not be pacified. They went to 
the theatre for a row, and they would not be disappointed. The 
only interval of order was during the time that little Burke was 
brought forward and played on his violin in the overture to " Guy 


Mannering," at the unanimous call of the house. The street in front 
of the theatre was filled by the mob, the lamps were broken, and 
the interior of the theatre sustained considerable injury, notwith- 
standing a strong force of watchmen and constables in attend- 

Monday, Oct. 17. — The disgraceful riots of Thursday and Sat- 
urday nights were continued on a more extensive scale last night. 
During the whole of yesterday the sanctity of the day was violated 
by the collection of groups of idlers in front of the theatre, and 
soon after dark the numbers had increased in a manner which 
caused serious alarm to the neighbourhood. Cries, shouts, and 
huzzas marked the commencement of the attack, and about nine 
o'clock I was disturbed by the noise of the crash of broken win- 
dows and the battering of the front doors. This continued half 
an hour without the interfei'ence of the municipal authorities. I 
then went out to find the Mayor. He was not at home, and could 
not be found. I then went around to the scene of action, when I 
found that the whole of this outrage was committed by about 
twenty boys, who were instigated and encouraged by the mob, and 
every crash of broken glass was followed by their shouts. At this 
time Hays came up with a pretty strong body of watchmen, and 
order was for a time restored. Several men and boys were carried 
to the watch-house, of whom nearly the whole were discharged in 
a short time, and several at my solicitation. The mob in front of 
the theatre continued, but no more injury was done to the build- 
ing. Indeed, there was not much left to be done, unless the mob 
could have forced an entrance, when the scene would have been 
dreadful. The American and tricoloured flags were exhibited from 
the upper windows to appease the populace, which sensed to allay 
the tumult ; but the noise continued all night, and I doubt if any 
person in the neighbourhood of the park had what is called a good 
nighfs rest. 

To-day the front of the theatre is covered with transparencies of 
patriotic subjects, — flags and eagles in abundance, — which appears 

1831.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP IIOXE. 4I 

to have propitiated the mob. I went into the house. Burke is 
playing, and things go on tolerably quietly. The crowd in front is 
tremendously great, but orderly, and there is a large body of 
watchmen, with the Mayor in person, so that there is reason to 
hope that this foolish affair has come to an end. 

Thursday, Oct. 27. — The corner-stone of a hospital for sailors, 
on the foundation of charity created by Robert Richard Randall, 
was laid yesterday at Staten Island, by Chancellor Walworth. The 
property left by Captain Randall has increased greatly in value 
within the last year, and must be ample now for the objects of his 
munificent bequest. 

Friday, Oct. 28. — I attended the tariff convention this morning, 
and am much interested in their proceedings. The salt of the land 
is there, and a little pepper, too ; but in my opinion the cause must 
be triumphant. It is the only true national triumph, and the only 
effectual bond of union. I dined with Nathaniel Richards ; Robert 
G. Shaw and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Abbot Lawrence, and several 
of the Eastern members of the convention formed the party. 

Monday, Oct. 31. — I was highly gratified by a cir- 
resi en cumstance which occurred in the convention this 


morning, which proves that good feeling and courtesy 
have not yet been voted out of fashion by the x\merican people. 
On the appearance of the ex-President, John Quincy Adams, in the 
lobby. General Talmadge, one of the vice-presidents, left his seat 
and handed him through the body of the house to a seat on the 
platform ; as soon as he was recognized, the whole assembly, in- 
cluding the spectators in the galleries and lobby, rose from their 
seats, and received him with plaudits, which were continued until 
he became seated. 

Friday, Nov. 4. — The following party dined with us: Hon. 
John Quincy Adams, Mr. C. H. Hammond, Charles King, Charles 
A. Davis, Peter II. Schenck, Isaac S. Hone, Chancellor Kent, 
General Talmadge, John Honej 
Helen Davis, Miss A. Church. 

42 THE DIARY OF riilLIP HONE. [.'Etat. 51. 

Wednesday, Nov, 9. — Died on Saturday evening at his seat, 
Westchester, Gen. Philip Van Courtlandt, aged eighty-two years. 

Frtoav, Nov. ii. — The packet " New York " arrived yesterday. 
Among her passengers are Mr. Jonathan Ogden and his three 
daughters, and young John Haggerty, of this city, and my friend, 
Mr. J. R. Poinsett. 

I do not know when I have been so delighted as I was last 
evening in seeing young Kean play Hamlet. It is a chaste, 
classical performance. 

Monday, Dec. 26. — The East river was closed by ice this 
morning, and two or three hundred persons walked across from 
Fulton street to Brooklyn. On the turn of the tide ' the ice went 
out, and the steamboats were again plying. 

Henry D. Sedgwick, late of this city, died at Stockbridge, Mass., 
on the 23d inst., in the forty-seventh year of his age. He was a 
man of talents, of celebrity as a lawyer, but eccentric. 



THE New Year commences propitiously; the fine weather, 
clear sunshine, and lively appearance of the streets, covered 
with snow are emblematical of the happy state of our country and 
the prosperity of the city, and I ought also to add, of my own situa- 
tion, which calls upon me for a grateful acknowledgment of the 
kindness and bounty of Divine Providence. Blessed with good 
health, my wife and children virtuous and in the enjoyment of 
health and happiness, easy in my circumstances (although not quite 
so rich as I have been), and enjoying, as I trust I do, the affections 
of my friends and the good opinions of my fellow-citizens, I have 
only to pray that I may not by an act of my own forfeit any of the 
blessings I enjoy, and that succeeding anniversaries of this day 
may, like this, be to me "a happy New "Year." 

Friday, Jan. 9. — -The following persons have been elected 
directors of the Bank of the United States : Nicholas Biddle, 
John Bohlen, Richard Willing, Henry Pratt, Matthew L. Bevan, 
John R. Neff, Horace Binney, Edward Coleman, Manuel E}Te, 
WilUam Piatt, Ambrose White, J. S. Henry, Thomas Cadwallader, 
of Philadelphia ; John Potter, of South Carolina ; Robert Gilmor, 
of Maryland ; Isaac Carow, John Rathbone, Jr., of New York ; 
Thomas N. Perkins, B. W. Crowninshield, of Massachusetts. The 
following government directors were appointed by the President 
of the United States : Nicholas Biddle, Joshua Lippincott, and J. 
T. Sullivan, of Pennsylvania ; James Campbell, of New York ; and 
Hugh McEldery, of Maryland. Nicholas Biddle was unanimously 
reelected president. 

Wednesday, Jan. ii. — Halsted E. Haight's property sold this 
day. The three-story house and lot, 22 Vesey street, formerly 
occupied by the late Bishop Hobart, twenty- five feet front and 


rear by about a hundred and two feet in depth, bought by Mr. 
Ward for $18,500, The lot of ground next to my residence, cor- 
ner of Broadway and Park place, with three tenements, one on 
Broadway and two on Park place, the lot twenty-five feet on 
Broadway, twenty-four feet eight inches in the rear, in length 
on Park place a hundred and twenty-one feet ten inches, and 
along my line a hundred and twenty feet six inches, bought by L. 
Bronson for $37,000. I bid for this lot $36,750, and regret since 
the sale that I had not gone further. It is worth more to me than 
to any other person. 

The house, No. 18 Park place, occupied by Charles McEvers, 
was sold at auction on Saturday to James J. Roosevelt, Jr., for 
$14,200 ; lot twenty-five feet by seventy-five. 

Thursday, Jan. 19. — The following party dined with us: Mr. 
and Mrs. Hamilton Wilkes, Mr. and Mrs. Pendleton Hosack, 
George Parish, Washington Coster, Mrs. A. E. Hosack, D. Lynch, 
P. Church, Mrs. Maria Hone, Captain Nicholson. 

A volume of beautiful poetry by William CuUen 
Poems ^ Bryant has just been published by Bhss. It contains 

several pieces which have been published in the peri- 
odicals before, with some new things. Bryant may be considered 
the best of American poets, with the exception of Halleck. A 
vein of sadness pervades all his writings, which is occasionally 
lighted up by soft and beautiful images. It is sad and melancholy, 
but never harsh or gloomy. 

Tuesday, Jan. 24. — This distinguished senator made 
HaTe ^ ^°^S speech in the Senate on Monday, in reply to Mr. 

Clay's great speech in support of the following resolu- 
tion offered by him : " That the existing duties upon articles im- 
ported from foreign countries, and not coming into competition with 
similar articles made or produced within the United States, ought 
to be forthwith abolished, except the duties on wines and silks, and 
that they ought to be reduced." The publication of Colonel 
Hayne's speech is commenced in to-day's papers. He comes out 


as usual with great force and eloquence against the whole pro- 
tective system of duties, depicts in glowing colours the sufferings of 
the South, the inequality and injustice of the system in its opera- 
tion upon them, and deplores the fancied evils which will result 
from it. He is certainly a great man, but has in my judgment 
the wrong side of the argument, and will have giants to contend 
against in the Senate. 

Wednesday, Jan. 25. — I attended a meeting this afternoon at 
Mr. Bucknor's ofifice, to confer with Mr. Pugh, one of the canal 
commissioners of the State of Illinois, who has been appointed to 
visit New York in relation to raising funds to construct a railroad 
from the head of navigation on the Illinois river, a distance of 
ninety miles, to Chicago, near the southern outlet of Lake Michi- 
gan. This project would be of great advantage to the State of 
New York, as it would divert the trade of the new Western States 
bordering on the lakes from New Orleans to our seaport. The gen- 
tlemen present, brokers and practical money-dealers, did not seem 
disposed to trust their funds in an enterprise so far from home, 
and it is not likely that Mr. Pugh will succeed in his application. 

I have been led by the discussions arising out of this conference 
to reflect upon the great prospects which the settlement of the 
new States holds out for this country. The tide of emigration 
sets in that direction with a force which has been hitherto un- 
known. The country is rich and productive ; the settlers are a 
hardy, ingenious, and enterprising race of men, dependent upon 
their own physical resources, and uncontaminated by the curse 
of slavery, the deleterious effects of which are felt so severely in 
the Southern States. The chain of States, consisting of New 
York, and, stretching westward, embracing Pennsylvania, Ohio, In- 
diana, Illinois, Missouri, and the Washington Territory, seem natu- 
rally united by their geographical position and similarity of 
climate, productions and political policies, and the time may 
come when they will form a great empire and control the desti- 
nies of the Western world. 

46 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 52. 

Friday, Jan. 27. — The lot, corner of Wall and Broad streets, 
sixteen feet eight inches on Broad street and thirty feet on Wall 
street, was sold this day at auction for $17,750. 

Thursday, Feb. 16. — I dined with James G. King, where I 
met Messrs. De Bourmont and De Tocqueville, the commissioners 
sent out by the French government to examine and report upon 
the prisons and prison discipline of this country. These gentle- 
men have just returned from a tour in the United States, and will 
sail for Europe in the packet of the 20th. 

Wednesday, Feb. 22. — This has been a jubilee in 
Washington's ^^^ york, the centennial anniversary of the birth of 

Birthday. ' •' 

Washington, and the day has, no doubt, been observed 
in all other parts of the country. Here we had a firing of cannon 
and ringing of bells. A process! c.i was formed under direction of a 
committee of arrangements of the Common Council. It left the 
City Hall, and thence to the new Dutch Church, under a military 
escort. I walked as a trustee of the college. The services in the 
church were opened and closed with prayers by Dr. Kuypers and 
Dr. Milnor. Two odes composed by Woodworth were sung, and 
an oration read by Gen. Morgan Lewis, which was written in good 
taste and well delivered, and rendered peculiarly interesting from 
the advanced age and great respectability of the orator, and 
from his being one of the small band remaining of the Revolu- 
tionary heroes who contributed to the success of the glorious 
struggle for independence in which Washington was the leader. 

Thursday, Feb. 23. — The ceremony of breaking ground for 
the Harlem Railroad took place this day at Murray's Hill, 
three miles from town. The usual jollifications were observed. 
John Mason, vice-president, in the absence of C. P. White, 
the president, made a speech. He knows better how to 
make money, and that, as the world goes, is a more important 

Saturday, Feb. 25. — The following party dined with us: Mr. 
D. Lynch, General Fleming, Gen. J. J. Jones, Mr. Gibbes, J. A. 


Hamilton, Robert Ray, Richard Ray, Mr. Charles King, T. W. 
Ludlow, S. Svvartwout, Bucknor, Henry Hone, N. Low. 

Wednesday, Feb. 29. — We went to an evening party at Mrs. 
Henry Parish's, Barclay street. The house is new, everything 
stylish and elegant, and the company filled every part of the 
splendid mansion. 

PHIL.4.DELPHLA., Tuesday, March 13. — We left New York at six 
o'clock, in the steamboat "Swan;" reached New Brunswick at 
half-past ten ; thence we found the roads very bad, and when we 
came to Trenton ascertained that the boat was down at Bristol, 
having been prevented from ascending farther by a freshet in the 
Delaware. The river was swollen to a great height, and rushing 
with fearful rapidity past the bridge, bringing do\vn with it branches 
of trees and great quantities of drift-wood. We took the boat at 
Bristol and came to the Mansion House at seven o'clock. 

Baltimore, Wednesday, March 14. — Left Philadelphia at six 
o'clock this morning in the " Robert Morris," and came to New 
Castle at half-past nine, where we were transferred to the railroad ; 
a pleasant ride, which brought us in an hour and three-quarters to 
Frenchtown. The railroad is just finished, and is an excellent sub- 
stitute for the bad roads which travellers had formerly to encounter 
in crossing the peninsula. The cars are new, very handsome, and 
commodious, and are drawn at present by horses. At Frenchtown 
we took the " Independence," and arrived here this evening. The 
weather during the day had been extremely cold ; the decks were 
covered with ice, and on the passage up the Chesapeake bay the 
wind blew so bitterly cold that the stoutest passengers were unable 
to remain upon deck. 

WASHrNGTON, Thursd.ay, March 15. — We left Baltimore at eight 
o'clock this morning, and came on the stage over a bad and some- 
what dangerous road, but without accident, and arrived here at two 

I dined with Mr. Pendleton. The party consisted of Mr. For- 
syth, of the Senate ; Judge Wayne, of Georgia ; Mr. Cambreling ; 

48 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^tat. 52. 

Colonel Drayton; J. A. Hamilton; Daniel Glover; Mr. Ewing, of 
Philadelphia; James J. Jones; and Jones Schermerhorn. Aftfer 
dinner we went to the President's ; the rooms were all filled, and 
the company consisted, as usual, of all the varieties of rank and 
station, — foreign ministers and shopkeepers, heads of depart- 
ments and dressers of heads, senators and office-hunters. The 
President was sociable and courteous, and the ladies of his family 
performed their parts with great propriety ; on the whole, it was 
an affair not to be missed. 

Monday, March 19. — Mr. Hamilton and I had an agreeable 
visit this afternoon from Mr. Webster, who came in after dinner to 
drink a glass of wine with us. He was in a fine talking humour, and 
of course we were pleased and instructed. We went this evening 
to a ball at Mrs. Bankhead's. It is a delightful house to visit, but 
the New Yorkers say we have better evening parties at home. 
There were many great folk, some clever folk, and a fair propor- 
tion of queer folk. 

Wednesday, March 21. — The girls and I dined with Mr. and 
Mrs. Bankhead. The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston, 
of Louisiana; Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Smith; Miss Lewis; Messrs. 
Webster, W. P. Adams ; Pageot of the French, and Khremer of 
the Russian, Legation ; Mr. Letcher ; Baron Stackelberg ; and Col- 
onel Washington. In the evening we went to a ball given by Mrs. 
White, of Florida, at which were all the distinguished men, and a 
large proportion of the fine women, of Washington. 

Thursday, March 22. — We passed five hours in the Senate to- 
day, and I do not think I was ever more interested in a debate. 
The subject was Mr. Clay's resolutions, and the whole strength of 
the Senate was brought out. Sprague, of Maine, made a beautiful 
speech. He is considered a man of fine talents, and is well listened 
to. Mr. Clay spoke several times ; so did Mr. Forsyth, who is an 
exceedingly eloquent man, Mr. Webster, General Hayne, Gov- 
ernor Dickenson, Mr. Wilkins, General Smith, etc. Hayne was 
vehement, Forsyth graceful, Clay triumphant, Webster didactic, 

1832.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 49 

Sprague argumentative, Wilkins confused, Marcey concerned, 
Holmes persevering. In the course of the debate General Hayne 
charged Mr. Forsyth with having deserted his cause, going over to 
the enemy, and pointing his guns against his friends. Forsyth, in 
reply, said he would go as far in opposition to the protective system 
as any man, constitutionally and legally, but not one inch farther. 
Hayne took fire, and demanded if the gentleman meant to insinu- 
ate that he and his friends would go farther. He was violently 
agitated. Forsyth replied with dignity and calmness. He did not 
allude particularly to the gentleman and his friends, but he did 
allude to a party who were disposed to redress their grievances at 
the risk of the Union and the Constitution. The girls sat during 
the whole debate, and left the Senate only when I was compelled to 
go away, at half- past five o'clock, to prepare for dinner. The Sen- 
ate adjourned soon after we left the chamber. It was a great exhi- 
bition of talents, and we were fortunate in being present. 

Baltimore, Saturday, March 24. — We left Washington at nine 
o'clock, and came here to dine. A fine day, and the roads much 
improved. We had a pleasant ride. We had scarcely dined when 
we had a large number of visitors, and after they left us we passed 
an hour sociably at Mr. Meredith's. We found here most of the 
New Yorkers who left Washington before us, and Parish, who came 
from Philadelphia. 

Sunday, March 25. — Mr. Meredith called this morning, and we 
walked out to see the monument, the cathedral, and the Unitarian 
church, with a number of fine houses which have been lately 
erected in that improving part of the city. The Unitarian church 
is a far more beautiful edifice than the cathedral ; indeed, I think 
it, as a single room, the finest in America. We returned to meet 
Mrs. Calvert, who was waiting to accompany us to St. Paul's 
church. The organ and church singing is very fine. The organist, 
a German, is a first-rate performer, and he made his instrument 
speak a language finer than I ever heard in one of our churches. 

On our return from church the girls had a levee of visitors ; they 


receive the kindest attentions from all the most distinguished 
persons, and oiir time is already appropriated during the whole 
week. Mr. and Mrs. Caton having called this morning to invite 
us, we passed an hour or two delightfully at their house this 
evening. The family were all present. Mr. Carroll was cheerful 
and talkative, and enjoyed himself very much until nine o'clock, 
when, according to his uniform practice, he took the arm of Mrs. 
McTavish, and quietly left the room. I feel while in the presence 
of this venerable man as if I were permitted to converse with one 
of the patriarchs, revisiting the land which, in days long gone, he 
had enriched with his patriotic counsels. He is in his ninety-sixth 
year ; his hearing is defective, and his memory of recent events 
imperfect ; but he presents a beautiful example of the close of a 
well-spent life, — serene, cheerful, and happy ; prepared, it would 
seem, " to take his rest, with all his country's honours blest." It is 
very probable I shall never again see him after the present visit, 
and this reflection enhanced the value of the delightful hour I have 
just passed in his company. I made Mary take a seat by his side, 
and she has it to say that she conversed some time with the 
last surviving signer of the immortal Declaration of Independence. 
Would to God we had such a race of men in high places at this 
eventful period of our country's affairs ! But Providence took care 
of us in their days, and as the Scottish ballad says, "it aye will 

From Mrs. Caton's we went to Mrs. Swan's, where we had been 
invited to meet a party of the most agreeable people in Baltimore. 
This is pretty well for Sunday, and the Ealtimoreans are rather 
strict, too ; but these parties were rational, delightful, and void of 
offence. It is impossible to be received with a more frank and 
hospitable welcome than we have, and if our time does not pass 
agreeably the fault will be our own. 

Monday, March 26. — It rained all the morning, and I did not 
go out until one o'clock, when I called upon Mr. Oliver and Mr. 
Gilmor. The girls rode out with John Hoffman to see Chatsworth, 


his brother's place. I dined with a pleasant party at Dr. White's, 
and in the evening we went to a ball at Mrs. David Hoffman's, 
where we met all the agreeable people of the place, and more 
agreeable people are not to be- met with anywhere. 

Tuesday. — Dined with Mr. Meredith, with a gay and pleasant 
party, consisting of Messrs. Gilmor, uncle and nephew, Oliver, 
Gibbes, Carroll, Harper, Donnell, two or three Hoffmans, etc. In 
the evening went to a beautiful party and supper at Mrs. George 
Hoffman's, where we met the whole array of Baltimore beauty and 
fashion. The party was given in honour of my girls, and I presume 
Mr. Hoffman's splendid house was never more splendidly filled. 

Thursday, March 29. — Mr. Oliver sent me a horse this morning, 
and at one o'clock we made an equestrian party, consisting of 
Messrs. Oliver, Meredith, Charles Carroll, and myself, and rode 
around the city, visiting the country-seats of Mr. Oliver and Mr. 
Carroll, and seeing what was worthy of notice. 

Friday. — In the evening we went to a leave-taking supper- 
party at Mr. Meredith's. As this is our last evening in Baltimore, 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gilmor, the ladies of Mrs. William Gilmor's 
family, and several young gentlemen were invited to meet us. 

Saturday, March 31. — At half- past six this morning we went 
on board the steamboat " George Washington." Besides our party 
we had Jones .Schermerhorn, ^Villiam Edgar, Hamilton Fish, and 
young McEwen, of Philadelphia ; Mr. Meredith and his son, John 
Hoffman, and John Donnell politely accompanied us to the boat, 
and we started with their kind adieus. Thus ended our visit to 
Baltimore, during which we have received the most gratifying at- 
tentions and the kindest hospitality. I shall never forget them. 

Thursday, April i. — The Historical Society having 
IS onca lately removed their library to the spacious room in the 
third story of the new edifice belonging to Mr. Remsen 
at the comer of Broadway and Chambers street, over the one occu- 
pied by the Athen?eum, it was opened this day, and an address was 
delivered to a respectable assemblage of ladies and gentlemen by 

52 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [.Etat. 52. 

William Beach Lawrence. It was well written and interesting, but 
his delivery is somewhat painful, owing, apparently, to a difficulty 
of articulation. I presided as first vice-president in the absence 
of Gen. Morgan Lewis, the president. The room is fitted up with 
much taste, and the books and curiosities skilfully and scientifically 
arranged, for which the society has been as usual indebted to the 
exertions of Mr. John Delafield. 
^ , May 2. — Ogden Hoffman made the annual address 

Ogden ° 

Hoftman's bcfore the alumni of Columbia College. The high 
Address. reputation of this gentleman as a scholar and an orator 

caused the college chapel to be filled with ladies and gentlemen, 
the fairest and best of our city, and no expectations had been 
raised which were not fully realized. I have never heard a 
production of more taste, purity, and appropriateness, or one de- 
livered with greater grace and eloquence. Its principal subjects 
were a brief biography of the members of the faculty in the orator's 
time, and a dissertation on the several branches of education 
taught in the college. In the latter, Mr. Hoffman took a well- 
chosen occasion to enforce the claims of classical learning, when a 
host of utilitarians are springing up on all sides preparing the pub- 
lic mind for a desertion of those pure springs of knowledge, from 
which the great and the good in past ages have drawn their richest 
draughts, and who would annihilate for all future ages the glorious 
language in which Homer and Virgil sang and Demosthenes and 
Cicero declaimed. Columbia College is sufficiently orthodox on 
this subject ; but when the floods of innovation threaten to destroy 
the foundations of learning, the strongest barriers must be opposed 
to their progress. On this subject Hoffman was clever, forcible, and 
touching, and all the power of the purest English was employed to 
protect the classical sanctity of the Greek and Latin. 

I feel this subject deeply, for I am sensible of my own de- 
ficiency, and would give half I possess in the world to enjoy the 
advantages of a classical education. Oh that my sons knew how 
to appreciate their opportunities of acquiring knowledge, and 


would profit by their father's experience ! The toils of eighteen 
would be then richly rewarded by the delightful experience of 
fifty, and the pleasures of prosperity enhanced, and the sorrows 
of adversity assuaged, by the stores of intellectual riches laid 
up in early life. 

Tuesday, May 15. — The annual exhibition has just 
Acacerayo ]^qq^ opcucd at the ncw rooms in Barclay street. 

the h ine Arts. ^ ■' 

There is the usual display of horrid portraits, like 
enough, in all conscience, to the originals, who I wish were hanged 
in their places. There are two most beautiful pictures by Carlo 
Maratti, belonging to an amateur named Dunderdale. He wants 
to sell them. I should like to buy them, but I will not. The 
Academy of Design are making great preparations for their exhibi- 
tion, which will be opened in two or three days, and will be very 
good. They have six of ray pictures : Bennett's " View of Castel- 
amare," Heyle's "Landscape," Newton's " Greek Girl," "The 
Greek " and " The Toque " of Weir's, and Morse's " Thorwaldsen." 
Allston's new picture (I believe the subject is taken from the " Mys- 
teries of Udolpho," or some such startling romance) has been ob- 
tained from the owner. This picture has made noise, and is cer- 
tainly fine. There is also a noble full length of Colonel Varick, by 
Henry Inman, a splendid picture. Portraits, portraits enough, 
in all conscience ! 

Arrival of TUESDAY, May 2 2. — The packct-ship "Havre" 

Washington arrived last evening, having sailed from Havre on the 
Irving. ^2^j^ of April. Among the passengers is our distin- 

guished countryman, and my old friend, Washington Irving, who 
visits his native country after an absence of seventeen years. I called 
to see him this morning at his brother's, Ebenezer Ir\ang. He has 
grown very fat since I saw him in England in 182 1, looks exceed- 
ingly well, and is delighted to be once more in his native city. I 
passed half an hour with him very pleasantly. He talks a great 
deal and is in high spirits, a thing not usual with him, except when 
under excitement, as he is at this moment. 

54 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [.Etat. 52. 

This dreadful disease has increased to an awful 
^10 er.1 m (degree in Paris, and the citizens are flying in every 
direction. Irving hurried away in consequence of it. 
Mr. Van Burcn went to Holland immediately, and was to return 
to England, whence he should embark for America on the ist 
of June. Brevoort and his family have gone to reside at Fon- 

Wednesday, May 23. — I have devoted nearly the whole day to 
Washington Irving. We were invited by a committee of the cor- 
poration to accompany them on a visit to Blackwell's Island and 
Bellevue, which has been made up for the purpose of exhibiting the 
public institutions to General Santander. Alderman Murray called 
for Irving and me at eleven o'clock, and we rode out and joined 
the party at the penitentiary on Blackwell's Island. We then re- 
turned with them to the almshouse, which, with the workshops, 
schools, etc., was exhibited to the company. Besides General 
Santander and his suite and ourselves there were Mr. LeRay de 
Chaumont and his son. Col. George Gibbs, Don Tomas Gener, 
Dr. Bronson, Mr. Hoyt, etc. At three o'clock, when they were 
preparing to go to dinner, Irving and I left them and came to 
town to meet friends whom I had engaged to dine with me. Our 
party at dinner consisted of Mr. Washington Irving, Dr. Wain- 
wright, Mr. Charles King, James G. King, Ogden Hoffman, J. P. 
Giraud, Isaac S. Hone, James Paulding, Professor Renwick, 
and Captain Nicolson. 

Saturday, May 26. — I dined with Dr. Wainwright, and met 
Irving and Newton, Mr. Gray, of Boston, and other agreeable 
persons. The return of Geoffrey Crayon has made old times 
and the associations of early life the leading topics of conver- 
sation amongst his friends. 

Public Dinner WEDNESDAY, May 30. — The dinner took place 

to Washing- to-day at the City Hotel, and went off finely. About 

rving. three hundred gentlemen sat down. It was a regular 

Knickerbocker affair. There were old New Yorkers and their 


descendants in goodly numbers, who are seldom seen at such 
places, and among the invited guests were many distinguished men ; 
viz., the bishops, Dr. Wainwright, General Santander, Baron de 
Behr, the new Minister from Belgium, Don Tomas Gener, General 
Scott, Commodore Chauncey, the Chancellor and Vice-Chan- 
cellor, the Lieutenant-Governor, Edward P. Livingston, Judges 
Hoffman, Oakley, and Irving, Mr. Gallatin, Mr. LeRay de Chau- 
mont, Mr. James Paulding, Colonel Trumbull, and Mr. Newton. 

Saivrday, June 9. — A great meeting was held last 
" " ^" evening; of liersons avowedly friends to the union of the 

Meeting. ° ' •' 

States and in favour of such a modification of the tariff 
as would serve to produce that effect, together with many violent 
free-trade men (as they call themselves), who would destroy the 
industry of the country and discourage all improvement to support 
their opinions and establish their theories. The meeting was 
called to order and organized by that mild, amiable, and reason- 
able gentleman, Preserved Fish. James Kent was chosen presi- 
dent, Stephen Allen and Gideon Lee, vice-presidents, Cornelius 
W. Lawrence and John A. Stevens, secretaries. The meeting 
was addressed and the resolutions moved by Peter A. Jay, and 
they are quite unexceptionable, as was to be expected from that 
gentleman, who is always wise, always honest, but sometimes 
a little prejudiced ; but would to God the affairs of our country, 
tariff and all, were in the hands of such men ! The meeting was so 
large that the room was insufficient, and all the approaches to it 
crowded to excess. Great tumult and disorder were occasioned by 
some tariff men who had better have stayed away. Party spirit has 
unhappily been mingled with the question. The excitement in- 
creases every day. Reflecting men who love their country and 
would preserve its institutions are full of alarm and serious 
forebodings. Both sides are wrong. It is vain to talk of concilia- 
tion. Prejudice on one side, interest on the other, and intoler- 
ance on both will prevent them from approaching nearer to 
each other. Mr. Adams's wisdom might do something if it were 

5^ THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 52. 

seconded by General Jackson's decision. Happy would our 
country be if those qualifications were united in one person, 
and he the chief magistrate ! 

Friday, June 15. — The Albany steamboat which 
Canada '" Came down this afternoon brought the alarming news 

that the cholera, which has of late been the scourge 
of the Eastern Continent, has crossed the Atlantic and made its 
appearance first in Quebec, and from there has travelled with its 
direful velocity to Montreal. It was brought to the former city in 
a vessel called the " Carricks," with a cargo of Irish immigrants, 
of whom many died on the way. In a few days fifteen cases and 
eight deaths were reported, principally in the narrow, dirty streets 
of the lower town, and the last report gave seventy cases. This 
dreadful disease has not been more mortal in any part of the world 
which it has visited. The proportion of deaths to the number of 
cases is dreadful. There can be Httle reasonable ground to hope 
for our exemption in New York from this dreadful scourge. It 
must come, and we are in a dreadful state to receive it. The city 
is in a more filthy state than Quebec and Montreal, and I do not 
know a European city which is worse. The alarm is great in 
Albany and Troy. 

The accounts are confirmed. They have it bad 
■chl'iera. ^nough at Quebec and Montreal, and there are reports 

of a few solitary cases at Plattsburgh, but they do not 
appear to be authentic. Mr. Bowne, our mayor, has published his 
proclamation interdicting the approach to the city of steamboats 
and other conveyances having passengers ill with the disease. 
Bishop Onderdonk has published a very sensible pastoral letter to 
the ministers of his diocese, urging them to make a spiritual use 
of the apprehended danger, and prescribing a form of prayers to 
be used in the service of the Church. 

Monday, June 18. — Prayers were offered up yesterday in all 
the churches to avert the threatened visit of the cholera, and ser- 
mons preached to prepare the minds of the people for the afflic- 

More of 


tion, which seems now to be considered inevitable. The weather 
is warm, but clear and pleasant; recent showers have refreshed 
the earth, and have been succeeded by pleasant southerly winds 
and a bright atmosphere. The reports of the day are that the 
disease has increased in Montreal and Quebec. The number of 
deaths in the former place is said to be two hundred and fifty, 
and great exertions are made to prevent the Canadian emigrants 
from being brought by steamboats or canal-boats into our State. 

General Scott has received orders from the War 
War " ''" Department to proceed forthwith to Fort Dearborn, at 
Chicago, on Lake Michigan, to take command of the 
army, and fight the Sacs and Fox Indians who have recently com- 
mitted outrages upon the inhabitants of Illinois, and murdered 
some of the Menominee Indians friendly to the United States. 
Fourteen companies of United States troops equipped as infantry 
are ordered to rendezvous here and proceed by the North river, 
the Erie canal, and the lakes to their destination. The cadets 
from West Point who have just now graduated are ordered on this 
service. Henry Swartwout, who is one of them, called this after- 
noon to see us, and is delighted, as most of his class are, with the 
prospect of military distinction which this expedition promises. 
I saw the major-general this evening. He will wait for the arrival 
of the troops, five companies of whom are to come from Old 
Point Comfort, Va., and expects to embark the latter part of this 
week. He is ordered to demand the surrender of the murderers 
of the friendly Indians, to compel the hostile Indians to observe 
the treaty which was made with them by General Gaines last 
year, and to take their leader, the Black Hawk, dead or alive. 
This celebrated warrior is said to be as formidable as the famous 
Tecumseh, and peace cannot be restored to the frontier until he 
is captured or destroyed. 

Wednesday, July 4. — It is a lovely day, but very different from 
all previous anniversaries of independence. The alarm about the 
cholera has prevented all the usual jollification under the public 


authority. There are no booths in Broadway, the parade which 
was ordered has been countermanded, no corporation dinner, and 
no ringing of bells. Some troops are marching about the street, 
"upon their own hook," I suppose. Most of the stores are closed, 
and there is a pretty smart cannonade of crackers by the boys ; but 
it is not a regular Fourth of July. The disease is here in all its 
violence, and will increase. God grant that its ravages may be 
confined and its visit short ! 

New York, Monday, July 23. — I left Rockaway after breakfast 
this morning, and came up to the city. Miss Lewis, accompanied 
me. The alarm is very great, but the streets are more lively than 
I expected. I went to Wall street and transacted some business ; 
there was a considerable number of persons on 'Change, and I 
saw but few stores closed in my walk. I hear many dreadful stories 
of cholera cases. The end of last week a man was found in the 
road at Harlem who had died of cholera. A coroner's inquest was 
called, and of twenty persons, jury and witnesses, who were present, 
nine are now dead. John Aspinwall told me this story, who had 
it from Alderman Murray, of the ninth ward. 

July 25. — The Count Survilliers sailed from Philadelphia in the 
ship "Alexander" for London. His departure from his residence 
at Bordentown, on the Delaware, was marked by the regrets of his 
neighbours ; among \vhom his hospitality and munificence have made 
him very popular, and he received on his embarkment at Philadel- 
phia the marked attentions of the citizens. 

August 8. — Joseph Jefferson, comedian of the Philadelphia 
Theatre, died at Harrisburg, Penn., on the 4th inst. This man's 
acting of comic parts on the New York stage is connected with the 
pleasing recollections of my early years. He was a great favourite 
at that time, and has preserved a higli reputation ever since as a 
comic performer. 

Sunday, Aug. 19. — Margaret has a letter from Helen Kane, 
accompanied by a present of a purse for me, which is the subject 
of the following neat remark : " Tell your fother that, although. 


like my affection for him, my poor little purse as yet knows no 
change, I hope it may soon resemble my sad heart when absent 
from him, and prove heavy and full to overflowing." 

Wednesday, Aug. 29. — We set off to the railroad, 
aratoga ^^^ embarked in one of a train of carriages ; arrived 

at Schenectady, breakfasted, walked a short distance to 
the commencement of the Saratoga road, and came in the same way 
to Saratoga Springs by the way of Ballston, where we arrived at 
eleven o'clock, and I am vv'ell accommodated at Congress Hall. 
This is a pleasant mode of travelling ; not very rapid but free from 
fatigue or inconvenience of any sort. The Mohawk and Hudson 
road is travelled by the power of a steam locomotive engine ; the 
Saratoga, by a horse-power. The latter road is scarcely in a state 
to be travelled, and has been in operation only a few weeks. 

The Springs have been almost deserted this summer, but there 
are now some clever people here and at Sans-Souci. We have 
General Van Rensselaer and his sons, Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins, Oliver 
Kane and his wife, with Anna and Lydia, Mrs. Phil. Van Rensselaer, 
Mr. and Mrs. Dickenson ; Judge Pendleton, Judge Woodworth, Mr. 
Dudley, William Laight, all with their wives ; Mr. Huntington and 
his family from Troy, with a few beaux, etc., — in all about sixty 
persons. The house is clean, quiet, comfortable, and well attended. 
I rode this afternoon with Dr. McLean and Giraud to Riley's, at 
Saratoga lake. S. Van Rensselaer, of Albany, and Philip Schuyler, 
of Schuylerville, came this evening. 

New York, Thursday, Sefi-. 6. — The city appears as lively 
and the streets as full of people as it usually is at this season. If 
the cholera is still amongst us, it proceeds quietly, uninterrupted 
by municipal regulations, and apparently unheeded by those who 
are exposed to it. 

The packet-ship "Pacific" arrived on Monday last, having on 
board Charles Kemble, the celebrated comedian, and his highly 
gifted daughter, Miss Fanny Kemble, who has lately created, by 
her fine acting, a great sensation in the theatrical circles of Great 

60 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 52. 

Britain. They are engaged by the manager of the Park Theatre ; 
and as the fame of the father has long since reached this 
country, and the daughter is said to inherit the talents of a family 
in which were numbered a Siddons and a John Kemble, there is 
no doubt that we shall be furnished with a theatrical treat of 
the highest order. Wallack made his first appearance since his 
arrival on Monday evening, and was well received. They ought 
to do well this season at the Park. 

Friday, Sept. 7. — Mr. Kemble called this morn- 
Kembies ^"^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ™^ letters of introduction from Mr. 

Vaughan, the British Minister to this country, who is 
now in England, and from Mr. Price. I returned his visit and 
saw his daughter (her father was not at home). She appeared 
deserving of all her reputation, — a good figure, easy manners, 
sprightly and intelligent, self-possessed, not very handsome, but 
with features animated and expressive, and calculated for great 
stage effect, Mr. Kemble is to make his first appearance in 
"Hamlet," and his accomplished daughter will come out on the 
1 7th, most probably in the character of Juliet, in which she made 
her successful ^e^u^ at Covent Garden. 

Mr. Jones Schermerhom called to see me yesterday, and I have 
sanctioned his engagement with Mary. His mother and other 
members of the family called to-day, and are heartily pleased 
with the intended alliance. Mr. Schermerhorn is confined to his 
country-house with indisposition. My beloved child could not 
have made a choice more pleasing to me. Schermerhorn is a 
young man of most amiable disposition, good morals, agreeable 
deportment, and a gentleman, of a family with whom I shall con- 
sider it an honour to be allied. As far as human foresight can 
penetrate, it is a union calculated to promote our happiness. 
May the Almighty smile upon it and realize our expectations ! 

Jones Schermerhorn, Mr. Gaston, and Isaac Hone dined with 
us. In the evening we went to the theatre and saw Wallack for 
the first time. He played the part of Martin Heywood in the 

1832.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 6I 

new piece of " Rent Day," — a very effective part, to which he cjives 
great interest. He has been well received and is in good spirits, 
although his engagement will be somewhat interfered with by the 
arrival of the Kembles so soon upon his heels. 

Saturday, Sept. 15. — The following party dined with us: 
Charles Kemble, Miss Fanny Kemble, Miss De Camp, Mr. and 
Mrs. C. A. Davis, Dr. A, E. Hosack and Mrs. Hosack, Mr. and 
Mrs. Cornwall, of Nova Scotia, Mr. Charles Bankhead, Mr. Charles 
King, General Fleming, Mr. Gaston, D. Lynch, Jones and Aug. 
Schermerhorn, Henry Hone, and James A. Hamilton. Miss 
Kemble, like all young persons who have become celebrated, has 
many and strong admirers. But many dislike her on first acquaint- 
ance. Her manners are somewhat singular. Allowance should 
be made for the peculiarity of her situation, just arrived among 
strangers, with a consciousness that she is viewed as one of the 
lions of the day, and as such the object more of curiosity than of 
affection. Her behaviour would be attributed naturally to timidity,' 
were it not that at times she appears to be perfectly self-possessed. 
She talks well, but will only talk when, and to whom, she chooses. 
She sat at my side at dinner, and I certainly had no reason to 
complain of her, for I lost my dinner in listening to her and in 
endeavouring to make myself agreeable. She has certainly an air 
of indifference and nonchalance not at all calculated to make 
her a favourite with the beaux. Indeed, Henry Hone and I think 
that she prefers married men. Her fault appears to be an ungra- 
cious manner of receiving the advances of those who desire to pay 
her attention. This may proceed from the novelty of her situation, 
and may be soon removed. But now is her time to make friends 
if she wants them. She sang and played for us in the evening. 
Her voice is not sweet, but has great force and pathos. I am con- 
firmed in my opinion that she has astonishing requisites for the stage. 
Her features separately are not good, but combined they make a 
face of great and powerful expression. She is said to resemble her 
aunt, Mrs. Siddons. I am of opinion that she does not like her 


profession. It is not her favourite theme of conversation ; necessity, 
rather than choice, has led her to adopt it. Her father is a gentle- 
man of fine manners and dignified deportment, somewhat .stiff, — 
for he is a Kemble, — but evidently well-bred and accustomed to 
good society. 

Sunday. — Mr. and Miss Kemble and Miss De Camp were at 
Trinity Church, and sat in my pew. They are evidently accustomed 
to attend divine service, a practice which is not so frequent with 
persons of their p^-ofession as might be wished. 

Monday, Sept. 17. — Charles Kemble made his first appearance 
this evening at the Park Theatre, in the character of Hamlet, to 
a great house. He was well received, and listened to with great 
attention. There were not many ladies in the house, but the audi- 
ence appeared to be critical and discriminating. It^was precisely 
such acting as my recollection of Kemble and my opinion of his 
powers had led me to expect. The part was deeply studied and 
well understood ; his reading is critically correct, his elocution 
distinct, and his manner dignified ; but he is too formal, even for 
Hamlet. His pauses are too long and too frequent, so much so 
as to make the representation fatiguing ; and for myself, I confess 
that, although my judgment is perfectly satisfied, his Hamlet falls 
far short of the power to interest me and give me pleasure of 
Kean's or even Wallack's, and he labours, moreover, under one great 
disadvantage, of which he has, unfortunately, no chance of amend- 
ment, — he is too old by thirty years for this part, and the expres- 
sion of his face will do better for Lord Townly, Sir Edward 
Mortimer, King John, and other such parts. He is, on the 
whole, a fine actor, a good study for the younger men, and his visit 
to this country ought to improve the American stage. Fanny 
Kemble is to appear to-morrow evening in " Fazio." 

Tuesday, Sept. 18. — Miss Fanny Kemble made her first ap- • 
pearance this evening in the character of Bianca, in Milman's 
tragedy of " Fazio." It is a fine part, well calculated for a display 
of the strongest passions of the female heart, — love, hate, and jeal- 


ousy. I predicted before we went that it would be no half-way 
affair ; she would make the most decided hit we have ever wit- 
nessed, or would fail entirely ; and so it proved. I have never 
witnessed an audience .so moved, astonished, and delighted. Her 
display of the strong feelings which belong to the part was great 
beyond description, and the expression of her wonderful face would 
have been a rich treat if her tongue had uttered no sound. The 
fifth act was such an exhibition of female powers as we have never 
before witnessed, and the curtain fell amidst the deafening shouts 
and plaudits of an astonished audience. She has some faults : her 
low tones are sepulchral and indistinct, — and yet her voice appears 
to me capable of anything which her judgment would lead her to 
execute, — and she is at times somewhat monotonous, particularly 
in the unimpassioned passages ; but this may be the defect of edu- 
cation. It was the fault of John Kemble and of Mrs. Siddons, and 
is that of her father. It runs in the family. But on the whole I am 
quite satisfied that we have never seen her equal on the American 
stage, and England has witnessed none since Miss O'Neil. 

Died on Monday, at Kinderhook, in the eighty- sixth year of his 
age, Peter Van Schaick, LL.D., one of the most distinguished law- 
yers and accomplished scholars in the United States. He was a 
contemporary and fellow-student of Governor Jay, Chancellor Liv- 
ingston, Judge Benson, and other great men of former times. He 
has been .blind for the last twenty years, but his intellectual faculties 
continued unimpaired, and he was considered to the last an oracle 
of legal wisdom and literary endowment. 

Thursday, Sept. 20. — Charles Kemble and his accomplished 
daughter appeared this evening in " Romeo and Juliet." Both 
parts were admirably performed. Mr. Kemble is too old for 
Romeo, — Mercutio is his part, — but this difficulty was overcome 
by his perfect conception of the character, the grace of his elocu- 
tion, and the eloquence of his deportment. Juliet was something' 
beyond my powers of description. I never saw a female performer 
at all to compare with her in this part, and I cannot imagine any- 

64 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 52. 

thing to exceed it. She is destined to fill the place of Mrs. Sid- 
dons, and make the finest performer in the world. 

The distresses of the lower classes in England and Ire- 
ElTXIn"s ^'^^^^ ^^^^^ caused emigration to America in numbers so 
great as to cause serious alarm. Besides the immense 
numbers which are daily arriving here and in other parts of the 
United States, it is stated that forty-nine thousand five hundred and 
sixty-nine emigrants have arrived at Quebec since the opening of 
the navigation of the St. Lawrence the present year. Of these, a 
large proportion find their way into the United States destitute and 
friendless. They have brought the cholera this year, and they will 
always bring wretchedness and want. The boast that our country 
is the asylum for the oppressed in other parts of the world is very 
philanthropic and sentimental, but I fear that we shall, before long, 
derive little comfort from being made the almshouse and place of 
refuge for the poor of other countries. 

Tuesday, Sept. 25. — Died yesterday, at Throg's Neck, George 
Lorillard, aged sixty-six. He was an old bachelor, brother of Peter 
and Jacob Lorillard, and lost an immense sum of money by dying. 

Saturday, Sept. 29. — Miss Kemble drove out this morning with 
my daughters and me. The more I see of this wonderful girl the 
more I am pleased with her. She has rare talents in conversation, 
and in her profession she has already made an impression which 
will never be forgotten by the people of New York. 

Tuesday, Oct. 16. — I rode out this morning with Mr. Richard 
Caton, son-in-law of Mr. Carroll, and father of the Marchioness of 
Wellesley and the Countess of Carmarthen, who is here on a visit 
from Baltimore. We drove about the suburbs, and it was grati- 
fying to me to hear the astonishment expressed at the magnifi- 
cence of the city by one who has not visited it for upwards of 
twenty years. 

Friday, Oct. 19. — I went with the girls this morning to pay 
a bride's visit to Mrs. Jared Sparks, late Miss Allen, of Hyde 
Park. She is one of the most interesting women I ever saw, — 


not what would be called a perfect beauty, but with a face ex- 
pressive as one of Raphael's Madonnas, and a form of Grecian 
mould, Tliis lady writes well, paints beautifully, and excels in 
music. She is going to Boston, where they know how to appre- 
ciate such characters. 

Monday, Oct. 22. — Ball Hughes's monument to Bishop Hobart 
is ready to be put up in the chancel of Trinity Church, and we 
are preparing to alter the pulpit and desk to suit it. Mr. Hughes 
is also engaged in making a beautiful altar-table of white Italian 
marble, and I think the effect of the whole will be much finer 
than anything of the sort we have seen in this country. 

Wednesday, Oct. 24. — Miss Fanny Hamilton, daughter of 
James A. Hamilton, was married last evening to George Bovvdoin. 

Thursday, Oct. 25. — My birthday. I am fifty- two years of 
age. I am much older in feelings than I was last year at this 
time. Two or three attacks of illness during the last summer 
have left me weakly and subject to indisposition. If I indulge 
in the good things which are constantly tempting me I am sure to 
suffer for it, and am compelled to temperance malgre moi. 

Fpjday, Oct. 26. — I dined with Abraham Schermerhom, where 
we had a clerical party, consisting of Bishop Bowen, Bishop 
BroAvnell, Dr. Wainwright, Mr. Creighton, and several laymen of 
the convention. This body has been engaged for several days in 
the discussion of an important subject ; viz., the acceptance of the 
resignation of Bishop Chase, of Ohio, and the validity of the ap- 
pointment of Mr. Mcllvaine as his successor, the question being 
whether a bishop can vacate his see in any case. There has been 
a great deal of speaking, and the meetings of the convention 
daily at St. John's Chapel have attracted crowds of people to 
hear the debate. Mr. Jay, President Duer, and Dr. Wainwright, 
of the New York delegation, have each made long and eloquent 

Wednesday, Nov. 7. — The following gentlemen dined with us : 
Mr. Wallack, Charles Kemble, Mr. Truman, Mr. Moore, I. S. 


Hone, J. Howard Payne, Mr. Buckland, Thomas W. Ludlow, 
Robert Emmet, and Henry Hone. 

Friday, Nov. 9. — This glorious light of literature, 
,J ', "^ "^ which has for some months been flickering in the 

\\ alter Scott. ° 

socket of existence, is at last extinguished. The pride 
of Great Britain, the delight of all who can read the English 
language and enjoy its richest treasures, has closed his brilliant 
career, and increased the gap which the death of Byron occa- 
sioned to an extent so great that it cannot be filled during the 
present generation of mankind. Both were splendid luminaries 
in the world of letters ; but the former passed over its firmament 
like a bright and transient meteor, while the latter, adding to the 
influence of his talents that of his exceUent moral character and 
kind feelings in his intercourse with mankind, shed around his 
path the genial warmth of the sun, enlightening and vivifying like 
his rival, but not like him scorching and dazzling the eyes of 

Tuesday, Nov. 13. — Dined with Mr. Charles March. Mr. and 
Mrs. Henry Gary, Mrs. Wayne, Dr. A. E. Hosack and his wife, 
Mr. Van Buren, Gambreling, Lynch, etc., were of the party. 
After dinner I saw part of Fanny Kemble's Juliet, which she 
played admirably. I saw her Julia, in the " Hunchback," last even- 
ing, — her best part, and better than anything I have ever seen. 
The house was full as possible, and hundreds left the doors unable 
to get seats. I then went to the party at Mrs. Delafield's, Park 
place. The attractions of the evening were the bride. Miss Dela- 
field, daughter of John Delafield, who has married a son of 
Gornelius Du Bois, and The Pedrotti, the prima donna of the 
Italian opera, wretchedly out of place, with her immense viflgar 
figure, staring eyes, and tawdry dress, amongst the lovely, 
modest, and graceful women with whom she was associated. 
And she refused to sing, too, after Mrs. Parish and Helen 
McEvers had kindly set her the example. If she did not sing, 
why was she there? And then the elegant amateurs of Italian 

1832.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 6/ 

music pretend to compare this woman to Fanny Kemble ; nay, 

pretend to say that, independently of her singing, she plays better 

and has more grace ! She is no more comparable to her than I 

to the Apollo Belvidere, a sunflower to a violet, a cart-horse to 

the Bussorah Arabian, an ale-house sign to a landscape of Claude, 

or Jane, our chambermaid, to Mrs. Gardiner Howland. 

FRroAY, Nov. 16. — The papers are clothed in 

.^^ ^° „ mourning ; the venerable Charles Carroll, of Carroll- 
Mr. Carroll. ° ' ' 

ton, died at his house in Baltimore on Wednesday 
morning, 14th inst., at four o'clock, in the ninety-sixth year of 
his age. This aged patriot and most respectable man was born 
on the 8th of September, in the year 1737, at Annapolis, 
]\Id. His father died in 17S2, aged eighty years. Mr. Carroll 
was a patriot in the days which tried men's souls. He was a 
member of Congress of respectable talents and great personal 
influence ; but his celebrity of late years has arisen principally 
from the interesting position in which he has stood before the 
American people as the last of that immortal band of patriots 
who, in signing the Declaration of Independence, took all the 
responsibility of the measure upon themselves, and gave a noble 
pledge to work out the political salvation of America. He has 
been the sole survivor since Jefferson and the elder Adams died, 
on the 4th of July, 1S26. Mr. Carroll was ninety- five years old in 

His Excellency, WiUiam C. Rives, American Minister at the 
court of France, and his family arrived this morning in the packet- 
ship "Sully," from Havre. Amongst the passengers by this ship 
were Samuel F. B. Morse, the artist, and president of the National 
Academy of Design. 

Dined at the navy yard with Commodore Chauncey. Mr. Van 
Buren was of the party. He is all the fashion at present. I 
think the pride of human nature must, in the case of this gentle- 
man, be fully gratified. The late election is a prodigious triumph 
for him, and he must be more or less than man if he can avoid 

68 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [.Etat. 52. 

exultation when he assumes the Vice-President's chair, vacated by 
the man who gave the casting vote in the Senate which recalled 
him from his honourable station abroad. 

November 27. — The anti-tariff convention of the State of 
Georgia assembled on the 15 th inst., at Milledgeville. A long 
string of violent resolutions were reported, breathing the poison of 
nullification in every line. 

December 3. — The South CaroUna convention 
^°^^^ have passed a number of resolutions, worse by far than 

Carolina. '■ ■' 

the friends of union believed it possible for them to go. 
It is rank treason, and in my opinion the leaders deser\'e to be 
hanged. It is well, however, that these violent measures have been 
adopted before the meeting of Congress, which will take place to- 
morrow. It places the nuUifiers at once in the wrong, and will 
remove the doubts in the minds of many good men in Congress 
as to the necessity of energetic measures in the commencement of 
this rebellion, for it can be called by no other name. 

December 12. — Very much to the surprise of some, 
President's ^^^ ^^ ^^ satisfaction of all our citizens, we have a 


long proclamation of President Jackson, which was 
published in Washington on the 12th inst., and is in all our papers 
this day. It is a document addressed to the nuUifiers of South 
Carolina, occasioned by the late treasonable proceedings of their 
convention. The whole subject is discussed in a spirit of concili- 
ation, but with firmness and decision, and a determination to put 
down the wicked attempt to resist the laws. On the constitution- 
ality of the laws which the nuUifiers object to, and their right to 
recede from the Union, this able State paper is full and conclusive. 
The language of the President is that of a father addressing his 
wayward children, but determined to punish with the utmost 
severity the first open act of insubordination. As a composition it 
is splendid, and wiU take its place in the archives of our country, 
and will dwell in the memory of our citizens alongside of the 
farewell address of the " Father of his Country." It is not known 

1S32.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 69 

which of the members of the cabinet is entitled to the honour of 
being the author ; it is attributed to Mr. Livingston, the Secretary 
of State, and to Governor Cass, the Secretary of War. Nobody, 
of course, supposes it was written by him whose name is subscribed 
to it. But whoever shall prove to be the author has raised to him- 
self an imperishable monument of glory. The sentiments, at least, 
are approved by the President, and he should have the credit of it, 
as he would the blame if it were bad ; and, possessing those sen- 
timents, we have reason to believe that he has firmness enough to 
do his duty. I say, Hurrah for Jackson ! and so I am willing to 
say at all times when he does his duty. The only difference 
between the thorough-going Jackson men and me is, that I will not 
"hurrah " for him right or wrong. And I think Jackson's election 
may save the Union. If he is sincere in this proclamation he will 
put down this rebellion. Mr. Clay, pursuing the same measures, 
would not have been equally successful. He is considered the 
head of the American System Party, and his political opponents 
would have thrown obstacles in his way from party motives ; 
whereas Jackson's opponents are generally men of more principle, 
and will not withhold their approbation from him when his 
measures, as in the present instance, are marked by wisdom and 
decision. A majority of the people would have gone with him, 
right or wrong ; they all will when he is right. In this able State 
paper he addresses the deluded people of South Carolina with 
tenderness, but seems to be gathering up his wrath to let it fall 
heavily on the heads of the ringleaders. 

December 18. — The Camden and Amboy Railroad was opened 
on Monday on the whole line, and passengers who left New York in 
the steamboat for Amboy at half-past six were in Philadelphia about 
two o'clock. This is expected to be the best joint-stock property 
in the United States. 

December 20. — Gen. Robert HajTie has been 
^°"*!^. elected Governor of South Carolina, in place of Gov- 

Carohna. ^ 

ernur Hamilton, whose term of office had expired. 


One Hotspur in place of another. And John C. Calhoun, the 
present Vice-President of the United States, is elected to the 
Senate of the United States in place of General Hayne. These ap- 
pointments prove the strength of the " Nullification " party. How 
I hate the word ! It is a newly invented one, hard to write and 
horrid to think of, but the most expressive that can be adopted. 



TANUARY 7. — Anew periodical, called the " Knickerbocker," 
^ made its first appearance on the ist of this month. It is to 
be a monthly publication, edited by Charles Hoffman, assistant 
editor of the " American," and published by Peabody & Co. 
Bryant, Paulding, the late Mr. Sands, and a number of other 
eminent literary men were engaged as contributors, and the work 
starts with a subscription list of eight hundred names. Public ex- 
pectation has consequently been highly raised, and, in my case, 
much disapppointed. I do not know what other people may think 
about it, but in my judgment these great guns have grievously 
missed fire. The introduction by Hoffman is long, laboured, and 
dull ; one of Paulding's stories is an unsuccessful attempt at quaint 
humour (not an unusual thing, by the by, in the works of that 
author) , and the poetry a mere makeweight, written apparently just 
to fill up such a space on such a page, to which it has been al- 
lotted. The " New York Mirror," a neat weekly conducted by 
Morris, which is a welcome visitor at my house every Saturday, is 
worth a dozen of the " Knickerbocker; " but I am unkind in criti- 
cising so closely the first number ; succeeding ones will, no doubt, 
be better, and I am so partial to the editor, and wish so heartily 
success to the concern, that I will not allow myself to doubt it. 

Washington, March 2. — I witnessed an interesting scene in 
the Senate this morning. Mr. Clay arose, and with great solemnity, 
and in that bland, engaging manner which in him is irresistible, ad- 
verted to an angry dispute which occurred a few weeks since, 
between Mr. Poindexter, of Mississippi, and Mr. Webster, at the 
conclusion of which the former said, " He felt the utmost contempt 
for the gentleman from Massachusetts." These expressions were 
attributed by Mr. Clay to the heat of debate and tlie excitement 


of opposition at a moment of peculiar interest, and he expressed 
the greatest anxiety that at the close of the session, when so much 
had been done to conciliate in other quarters, two gentlemen 
who had frequently acted together, and between whom the best feel- 
ings had heretofore existed, should not be suffered to part in anger. 
Mr. Poindexter immediately arose, disclaimed any intention to 
offend Mr. Webster, and made a gentlemanly sort of apology, which 
was received in the same spirit and acknowledged in a short speech 
by Mr. Webster, The parties then approached each other, shook 
hands, and the affair was settled. 

Monday, March 4. — The inauguration of Andrew Jackson as 
President, and Martin Van Buren-as Vice-President, of the United 
States, took place at noon in the hall of the House of Represent- 
atives. I went up at eleven o'clock, and formed one of the 
immense crowd who thronged the approach to every door. The 
wind was very high, and the severity of the cold unmitigated, so 
that the time spent in waiting was not particularly agreeable. The 
President and Vice-President and their cortege arrived at twelve 
o'clock, and soon afterwards the doors were opened, when I was 
carried in with the ruffianly crowd, but never got farther than the 
little vestibule in front of the Chamber. I am told that the Presi- 
dent delivered an inaugural address, and the oaths were adminis- 
tered by the venerable Chief Justice. The address is published in 
handbills. It is well done, not too long, and well adapted to the 
state of public affairs. 

Friday, March 29. — The following party dined with us : Judge 
WajTie, of Georgia, and his lady ; Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Pendleton, 
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Schermerhorn, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Wilkes, 
]\Ir. and Mrs. S. S. Howland, Sir Charles R. Vaughan, Mr. Bankhead, 
Mr. Thorn, Marquis Torrigiani, Mr. James J. Jones, Washington 
Irving, Commodore Chauncey, Mr. Granger, and Mr. D. Lynch. 

Saturday, March 30. — I dined with Mr. William B. Astor, and in 
the evening went for a short time to a party of distinguished lit- 
erary gentlemen and others, at Dr. Alexander Stephens's. 


Monday, April i . — Mr. Audubon, the celebrated ornithologist, 
called upon me a day or two since with letters of introduction 
from Mr. Quincy, President of Harvard College, and Colonel 
Perkins, of Boston, He is about setting out on one of his enter- 
prising excursions to the coast of Labrador, in pursuit of informa- 
tion to illustrate his favorite science, to which he is devoted with 
the ardour of a lover to his mistress. He is an interesting man of 
about fifty-five years of age, modest in his deportment, possessing 
general intelligence, an acute mind, and great enthusiasm. His 
work on the birds of North America, on which he is now engaged, 
is probably the most splendid book ever published. I have seen 
several of the numbers in the library of Congress, It will require 
nine years to complete it, and will cost eight hundred dollars ; all 
the drawings are executed by himself or under his special superin- 
tendence. Wilson's book on the same subject is deservedly cele- 
brated, — beautiful, no doubt, but comparing with Audubon's as 
the Falls of Trenton to those of Niagara. 

Saturday, April 6. — Subscribers to the Marine Pavilion to be 
erected at Rockaway. The foUo^ving persons have each subscribed 
five hundred dollars: Nathaniel Prime, Robert Ra)', John A. 
King, Rufus Prime, Philip Hone, Alfred Seton, John Haggerty, 
Isaac S, Hone, Edward Prime, Thaddeus Phelps, John C. Cruger, 
Samuel S, Howland, Thomas Sufiem, Charles A, Davis, Gerard H. 
Coster, Reuben Withers, Isaac Jones, Jr., John G. Coster, James 
Boggs, Goold Hoyt, Peter Schermerhorn, Lewis Curtiss, William B. 
Crosby, Benjamin L. Swan, Robert White, David S. Jones, John 
MacGregor, Jr., Stephen Whitney, Rupert L. Cochran, Isaac 
Carow, J. Boorman, Samuel Glover, George Newbold, William 
McLeod, James Monroe, John Mason, John Gihon, Henry Parish, 
Robert L, Patterson, W. N. Furniss, John Johnston, John W. 
Leavitt, William A\'right, Herman Thorn, C. H. Russell, Joseph 
Walker, Asaph Stone, Samuel Alley, Moses H. Grinnell, Hendrick 
Booraem, Amos Palmer, Gideon Pott, Richard Suydam, Timothy 
T. Kissam, James Boyd, Jr., Charles A. Heckscher, Brockholst 


Cutting, John F. Delaplaine, Charles Hall, Gideon Lee, Mortimer 
Livingston, James Heard, Peter J. Nevins, Henry Laverty, Peter 
G. Stuj^esant. 

Wednesday, May 15. — The spring exhibition of 
Academy. ^^^ National Academy has just opened. I have paid 

it only a flying visit. It is a good exhibition, and if 
the smiling faces of sundry " fat and greasy citizens " and their 
self-complacent helpmates were turned to the wall instead of look- 
ing down from their canvas habitations to fright the spectators from 
" their propriety," it would be worth visiting half a dozen times. 
The president, Mr. Morse, and Cole have contributed the pictures 
which they painted and brought from Europe. The former are 
hard and cold as ever. The warmth of the sunny skies of Italy 
does not appear to have had any effect upon the worthy president. 
He is an excellent fellow, and is well acquainted with the principles 
of his art, but he has no imagination. He makes good portraits, 
strong likenesses. Uy portrait of Chancellor Kent, by Morse, is 
very good, and Thorvaldsen is excellent, but he cannot design. 
There is no poetry about his painting, and his prose consists of 
straight lines, which look as if they had been stretched to their 
utmost tension to form clothes-lines. Cole maintains his ground. 
His pictures are admirable representations of that description of 
scenery which he has studied so well in his native forests. His 
landscapes are too solid, massy, and umbrageous to please the eye 
of an amateur accustomed to Italian skies and English-park 
scenery, but I think every American is bound to prove his love of 
country by admiring Cole. 

Monday, May 27. — Messrs. Charles L. Livingston, 
the File°piace. ^^elps, Giraud, and I left home last Tuesday at one 

o'clock on an excursion to Long Island. The next 
morning we rose early, and started at five o'clock ; a fine morning, 
the country on all sides looking bright and beautiful. We had a 
very agreeable ride, breakfasted at Timothy Carman's, and arrived 
at Sam Carman's, at the Fire-place, at four o'clock. The following 


day the wind got around again to the north-east, raw, cold, and 
rainy, and so it continued the remainder of the week, with occa- 
sional intervals, which allowed Giraud and me the opportunity of 
fishing every day for an hour or two, and we took trout enough to 
supply our table during the whole of our visit. They were very 
fine, not very abundant ; but, on the whole, we had good sport, and 
we formed within doors a gay, pleasant party, and with the assist- 
ance of stores we took with us, we had quite as much to eat and 
drink as was good for us. On Sunday morning at eleven o'clock 
we left Carman's on our return. The Speaker and I brought with 
us a dozen trout which were taken on the morning we came away. 
The weather was fine during the whole of yesterday, and we came 
to Van Cott's, at Jamaica, where we lodged, and came away this 
morning after breakfast. This is the first day of the races, and 
there is a great match race between a colt of Walter Livingston's 
and a Southern colt of Colonel Johnson's. Livingston and Phelps 
remained at the race-course to see the race, and Giraud and I came 
to Brooklyn, where we arrived at nine. The road was crowded 
with vehicles of every description and pedestrians of every age and 
complexion. Brookl}ai was a scene of bustle and confusion, and the 
sporting gentlemen eyed us with looks of compassion that we could 
have so little taste as to turn our backs upon so pleasant an affair. 

Tuesday, May 28. — My excellent old friend, Corn- 
Navy Yard, modore Chauncey, is ordered to Washington, to fill a 
place at the Board of Navy Commissioners, and Cap- 
tain Ridgely is appointed to our navy yard. This will be deeply 
regretted by many in New York, for Chauncey has a vast number 
of devoted friends here. I shall be a heavy loser myself. He 
was ever a most welcome guest at my table, and I have partaken 
" many a time and oft " of his noble hospitality. We had a stand- 
ing compact, that each of us was to stand ready to obey the 
other's summons at a day's notice, when not otherwise engaged. 
And then his fine, old sherry, too ! he will have to give it to those 
who have not half so much regard for him. 

^6 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 53. 

Mr. Webster was at the Eagle Tavern the other day, on his way 
to the western part of the State, and was presented to Judge Buel, 
the celebrated agriculturist, by the loquacious landlord, Crittenden, 
in the following flowery style : " This is Judge Buel, who cultivates 
the finest flowers of the field, and this the Hon. Daniel Webster, 
who Culls the choicest flowers of rhetoric." Mr. Webster then 
happily observed : "Yonx flowers -produce /rui^ ; mine, I fear, may 
prove abortive." To this Judge Buel, with great felicity, replied : 
" My flowers, sir, are annual and evanescent, while yours promise a 
perpetual bloom." 

Monday, June 3. — Died on Saturday evening, in this city, 
Oliver Wolcott, in the seventy- fourth year of his age. Mr, Wolcott 
was Secretary of the Treasury under Washington. His father was 
a patriot of the Revolution, and one of the signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence. He was afterward a merchant of this city, 
president, successively, of the Merchants' Bank and the Bank of 
America, in which latter institution I was associated with him as a 
director. He then removed to his native State, Connecticut, 
of which he was elected Governor, and in which office he continued 
several years. He came recently again to New York, where he 
lived in bad health and in perfect retirement from society. 

Thursday, June 13. — The President is certainly the 
Tacklou" vao%\. popular man we have ever known. Washington 

was not so much so. His acts were popular, because 
all descriptions of men were ready to acknowledge him the Father 
of his Country ; but he was superior to the homage of the popu- 
lace, — too dignified, too grave for their liking ; and men could not 
approach him with familiarity. Here is a man who suits them 
exactly. He has a kind expression for each, — the same to all, no 
doubt, but each thinks it intended for himself. His manners are 
certainly good, and he makes the most of them. He is a gourmand 
of adulation, and by the assistance of the populace has persuaded 
himself that no man ever lived in the country to whom the country 
was so much indebted. Talk of him as the second Washington ! 


It won't do now. Washington was only the first Jackson. Poor 
Adams used to visit New York during his presidency. The papers, 
to be sure, announced his arrival ; but he was welcomed by no 
shouts, no crowd thronged around his portals, no huzzas rent the 
air when he made his appearance, and yet posterity, more just than 
ourselves, will acknowledge him to have been, in all the qualifica- 
tions which constitute his fitness to fill the office of a ruler of this 
great Republic, twenty times superior to Jackson. He wanted tact. 
He gave the toast of Ebony and Topaz, the ungracious offspring 
of a mind overloaded with study and unskilful in adaptation. And 
the other, in a moment when we were all anxious to save the country 
from the mad schemes of visionary theorists whose crude principles 
of government seemed to threaten the welfare of our federative 
institution, and when we doubted what his course would be, gave 
in a happy moment his toast, "The Union — it must be preserved." 
It made a difference of five hundred thousand votes. Adams is 
the wisest man, the best scholar, the most accomplished statesman ; 
but Jackson has most tact. So, huzza for Jackson ! 

June 15. — The celebrated Indian chief. Black Hawk, and his 
companions, the prophet and his son, now occupy the place in the 
public curiosity which General Jackson filled during his recent 
visit here. They arrived yesterday, and witnessed the ascension 
of the balloon from the steamboat in which they arrived. They are 
under the charge of Major Garland of the United States Army. 
The crowd was so great that they found it impossible to land and 
enter the garden, as was expected. They were afterward taken to 
their lodgings at the Exchange Hotel, in Broad street, and Black 
Hawk is now the order of the day. 

Saturday, June 29. — My estimable friend. Colonel Nicholas 
Fish, died durmg my absence, on Tuesday, 20th inst., in the 
seventy-fifth year of his age. He was a gallant and distinguished 
officer in the War of the Revolution, an accomplished gentleman 
of the old school, and in all respects an amiable and excellent 

78 ■ THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 53. 

Col. Thomas H. Perkins, of Boston, made a short 

Munificence . . . 1 xt t^ 1 i 

of Boston. t^T^Q smce a donation to the New England Institution 
for the Education of the Blind of his house and lot of 
ground in Pearl street, worth $30,000, on condition that the farther 
sum of $50,000 should be raised for the same object by voluntary 
contributions. The Bostonians went to work with their accus- 
tomed spirit, and collected in a very short time the sum of 
$51,117, of which $11,400 were the proceeds of a ladies' fair. 
This result having been announced to the Colonel by a committee 
appointed to receive the subscriptions, he made his offer binding by 
a conveyance of the splendid mansion which he formerly occu- 
pied, and which I should say from my recollection of it is fully 
worth the estimated sum. 

July i. — Married suddenly, on Saturday evening, Henry N. 
Cruger, of Charleston, to Miss Harriet Douglas, the American 
Madame de Stael. 

Wednesday, July 3. — The celebrated Colonel Burr was mar- 
ried on Monday evening to the equally celebrated Mrs. Jumel, 
widow of Stephen Jumel. It is benevolent in her to keep the old 
man in his latter days. One good turn deserves another. 

Thursday, Aug. 22. — A very agreeable wedding took place 
this day at Jamaica. Henry Van Rensselaer, son of Gen. Stephen 
Van Rensselaer, was married to ISIiss Elizabeth Ray King, second 
daughter of John A. King. I was in company one evening last 
winter at a party with Mrs. King, Mrs. Abraham Ogden, and Mrs. 
Edward R. Jones, and was boasting of some fine Arrack more 
than sixty years old which I had obtained. I promised each of 
these ladies a bottle of it on the occasion of a marriage of a 
daughter. This is the first, and I have redeemed my pledge by 
sending Mrs. King a bottle on Saturday, with my compliments and 

Monday, Aug. 26. — Died at Jamaica, Long Island, on Saturday 
evening, Egbert Benson, aged eighty-seven years. This patriarch 
has held a conspicuous station in the affairs of this State, — a law- 


yer of eminence in the early part of his hfe, occupying a high 
judicial station at a more advanced period, a patriot and a staunch 
Whig during the Revolution. Few men have been more generally 
known and esteemed than Judge Benson. He has lived in retire- 
ment for many years, and dies at a very advanced age. 

Monday, Sept. 16. — The drawing for boxes at the Italian opera 
house took place this morning. My associates, Mr. Schermerhorn 
and General Jones, are out of town, and I attended and drew 
No. 8, with which I am well satisfied. The other boxes will be 
occupied by the following gentlemen : Gerard H. Coster, G. G. 
Rowland, Rufus Prime, Mr. Panon, Robert Ray, J. F. Moulton, 
James J. Jones, D. Lynch, E. Townsend, John C. Cruger, O. 
Mauran, Charles Hall, J. G. Pierson, and S. B. Ruggles. 

Monday, Sept. 30. — We went this evening to see Mr. and Miss 
Kemble in the " Stranger." Mrs. Haller is thought by many per- 
sons to be Fanny Kemble's best part. She certainly played this 
evening with the most affecting pathos and tenderness ; and so the 
audience appear to think, for I never saw persons more attentive 
and more deeply affected. I'his will probably be her last engage- 
ment, if the report is true that she is married already, or about to 
be, to Mr. Pierce Butler, of Philadelphia. 

Thursday, Oct. 3. — A notice appeared in the papers 
of yesterdav, signed by Joshua Leavitt, William Goodell, 

Meeting. •' . j ^ j j i 7 

William Green, Jr., John Rankin, and Lewis Tappan, 
calling a meeting of " the friends of immediate abolition of slavery 
in the United States " at Clinton Hall last evening. I expressed 
great dissatisfaction that the hall should be let without my appro- 
bation for any purpose not immediately connected with the objects 
of the institution, and my decided opposition to its being used for 
the agitation of this most mischievous question. A great crowd 
of people collected to oppose the object of the meeting, and 
hearing that they had become tumultiTbus, I went over and found 
that Mr. Leavitt and Mr. Olmstead, the former of whom had 
granted the use of the Jiall, had been there and countermanded 

80 THE DIARY OF rilTLIP HONE. [/Etat. 53. 

the permission, and locked the doors. The assemblage of persons 
had adjourned to Tammany Hall, appointed Robert Bogardus 
chairman and M. C. Patterson and P. P. Parsells secretaries, and 
passed resolutions disapproving the objects of the meeting. 

Monday, Oct. 7. — On the way to Rockaway my daughter and 
I stopped at Snedecor's to look at Eclipse. This noble animal, 
whose blood flows in the veins of all the finest horses in this 
country, was twenty years old last spring. His owner, Walter 
Livingston, has lately sold one-half of him for $4,500 to Colonel 
Johnson, of Virginia, who (after a year, during which time he is to 
remain on Long Island) will take him away to improve the blood 
of the South. Eclipse looks as fine as ever. He is under the care 
of a groom who has had nothing else to do for the past nine 
years but attend to the grand sultan, brush his coat, comb his 
mane, make his bed, and provide his meals ; verily, the horse and 
his keeper have both an easy life of it. 

Friday, Oct. 18. — I regret exceedingly that the visit 

r. ay s ^^ ^^ distinguished friend, Mr. Clay, should have been 
made during my absence. I knew he was expected, 
but hoped to be back before his arrival. He came on Tuesday, 
and was received with the most distinguished marks of respect. 
Crowds of people received him with enthusiastic cheers on his 
landing, and he was escorted by one hundred gentlemen on horse- 
back to the lodgings which had been prepared for him at the 
American Hotel, the same which " the greatest and best " occu- 
pied during his visit. A public dinner was tendered to him, which 
he declined, as he had previously done a similar compliment in 

November 2. — I dined with Mr. Bucknor, and met Commo- 
dore Chauncey there. Dr. Wainwright was of the party. He has 
determined at last to accept the call which has been strongly 
pressed upon him to become rector of St. Paul's, Boston, and will 
leave Grace Church and his congregation here — the most eligible 
clerical living, I believe, in the United States — from what he con- 


siders a sense of duty, it having been represented to him that his 
acceptance of the call is the only means of keeping the congregation 
of St. Paul's, the most respectable Episcopal church in New Eng- 
land, from falling to pieces. But I fear if they are such a set of 
nullifiers he will not have much comfort amongst them, and his 
departure from New York will occasion a severe loss to his congre- 
gation, and be deeply lamented by a large circle of devoted 
personal friends. 

Tuesday, Nov. 5. — James Fenimore Cooper and his family 
arrived to-day in the ship " Sampson " from London. This gentle- 
man has acquired a high literary reputation during his residence in 
Europe as the author of several novels, but I doubt very much if 
the works which he published before he went away do not form a 
foundation for his fame, of which the superstructure he has subse- 
quently erected is scarcely worthy. His late works have certainly 
not added much to his reputation on this side of the water. 
Opening of MoNDAV, Nov. 1 8. — The long-cxpectcd opening of. 

the Opera the opcra house took place this evening, with the 
House. opera, " La Gaza Ladra," — all new performers except 

Signora Marozzi, who belonged to the old company. The prima- 
donna soprano is Signorina Fanti. The opera, they say, went off 
well for a first performance ; but to me it was tiresome, and the au- 
dience was not excited to any violent degree of applause. The 
performance occupied four hours, — much too long, according to my 
notion, to listen to a language which one does not understand ; but 
the house is superb, and the decorations of the proprietors' boxes 
(which occupy the whole of the second tier) in a style of magnifi- 
cence which even the extravagance of Europe has not yet equalled. 
I have one-third of box No. 8 ; Peter Schermerhorn, one-third ; 
James J. Jones, one-sixth ; and William Moore, one-sixth. Our 
box is fitted up with great taste, with light-blue hangings, gilded 
panels and cornice, arm-chairs, and a sofa. Some of the others 
have rich silk ornaments, some are painted in fresco, and each 
proprietor seems to have tried to outdo the rest in comfort and 

82 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^tat..53. 

magnificence. The scenery is beautiful. The dome and the fronts 
of the boxes are painted in the most superb classical designs, and 
the sofa-seats are exceedingly commodious. Will this splendid 
and refined amusement be supported in New York? I am 

Monday, Nov. i8. — The ill-advised and arbitrary step of the 
President in removing the deposits from the Bank of the United 
States has, as was predicted, occasioned a collision between the 
branches of that institution and the State banks which have been 
selected to receive the public money, producing an awful scarcity 
of money, with immediate distress and melancholy forebodings to 
the merchants and others, who require credit to sustain them. 
Stocks of every description have fallen, — Delaware and Hudson, 
from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fourteen; 
Boston and Providence, from one hundred and fifteen to one hun- 
dred and three : in both of these I suffer. Money cannot be had 
on bond and mortgage at seven per cent., and I am told good 
notes will hardly be discounted at nine per cent. 

Tuesday, Nov. 19. — Mr. Clay told me this morning that he 
wished to visit Chancellor Kent, and I called for him and drove him 
to the Chancellor's, where we paid a delightful visit of about an 
hour, with which they were both highly gratified. It is a fine trib- 
ute to the character of my excellent friend that such a man as 
Mr. Clay, when he visits New York, is always desirous to see him. 
There is a virtuous simplicity about him which adorns the sterling 
qualities of his mind, and leaves us in doubt whether we are most 
fascinated by his good heart or his strong intellect. 

I dined with Mr. Donaldson, where I met his distinguished 
father-in-law, Mr. Gaston, Chancellor Kent, Mr. Everett, Colonel 
Trumbull, Mr. Jay, Mr. David B. Ogden, etc. It was, of course, a 
pleasant dinner. I have seldom met a man with whom I was so 
much pleased as Mr. Gaston. He possesses a refined mind, culti- 
vated understanding, and agreeable manners, and would be an 
ornament to public life, were it not that he adheres with honourable 

iS33-] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 83 

pertinacity to the unfashionable name and principles of Federalism. 
More's the pity for the country ! 

Wednesday, Nov. 20. — Mr. Edward Everett, the distinguished 
member of Congress from Massachusetts, called to see me this 
morning, and sat half an hour with me. He is a man of fine tal- 
ents, a good writer, and an eloquent orator ; a little pedantic, but 
his manners are unaffected, and his conversation instructive and 
agreeable. He is to deliver, this evening, the introductory to the 
course of lectures of the Mercantile Library Association, at Clinton 
Hall. It will, no doubt, be a great treat. I ought to go, and 
would like to, but I have engaged company at home to meet Mr. 
Ch}'. The following gentlemen supped with me : Mr. Clay, Mr. 
C. L. Livingston, Mr. Lydig, ]Mr. Phelps, Mr. Moore, Mr, H. 
Suydam, Mr. D. S. Jones, Mr. Talman, Mr. Giraud, Mr. L S. Hone, 
■Sir. Wynkoop, Mr. Ijowne, and Dr. McLean. Mr. Clay, as usual, 
was exceetlingly agreeable, and some of my guests declared they 
had never spent a more agreeable evening. 

AVednesday, Dec. 4. — The language of the message in relation 
to the Bank of the United States is even more violent and intem- 
perate than could have been anticipated; and in an important 
State paper, which is read with avidity in' all parts of the world 
where our country and its institutions excite the least interest, it is 
undignified, because marked with strong personal feelings of hostil- 
ity, and unjust, because it abounds in charges which cannot be 
proved, either by the President or the unworthy advisers who, influ- 
enced by paltry motives of pecuniary interest, avail themselves of 
the weakness of excited feelings and uncompromising obstinacy to 
promote their own objects. 

Monday, Dec. 9. — The Bank of the United States has pub- 
lished an elaborate and able report in vindication of its measures, 
as a reply to the charges against it in the report of the Secretary 
of the Treasury. It concludes with a recommendation of the 
adoption of the following resolution : " That the removal of the 
public funds from the Bank of the United States under the circum- 


Stances and in the manner in which it has been effected, is a viola- 
tion of the contract between the Government and the Bank ; and 
that the Prcsitlent be instructed to present a memorial to Congress 
requesting that redress should be afforded for the wrong which has 
been done to the institution." 

Friday, Dec. 13. — The session of Congress has commenced in 
a stormy manner, and the President and his out-and-out supporters 
have been assailed in both Houses. The opposers of the adminis- 
tration are bold and determined, and its friends unprepared to 
stem the torrent. A resolution offered by Mr. Clay in the Senate 
to have the standing committees appointed by ballot instead of 
being nominated by the president of the Senate (the Vice-President 
not having taken the chair) was carried by a majority of five or six. 
This is understood to be an indication of the state of parties. Sev- 
eral questions have also come up in the House in relation to the 
removal of the deposits, the great question which is to agitate the 
country to its very centre, in which the vote has been so strong in 
opposition that there must be some awful quakings amongst those 
whose business in Washington is to sanction all rescripts from the 
seat of power and the source of patronage. Of our four repre- 
sentatives. White, Cambreling, and Lawrence have taken the bit 
kindly and drive very well ; but Selden shows a strong disposition to 
restiveness, and the collar does not set easy upon him. 

Saturday, Dec. 14. — I dined with Mr. Edward R. Jones. 
Peter A. Jay talks extremely well when he has a mind, and this day 
he was "in the vein." I do not know when I have been so well 
pleased, and we sat until ten o'clock. 

FRroAY, Dec. 27. — The holidays are gloomy; the weather is 
bad ; the times are bad ; stocks are falling ; and a panic prevails 
which will result in bankruptcies and ruin in many quarters where, 
a few short weeks since, the sun of prosperity shone with unusual 
brightness. It will be worse before it is better. 

Monday, Dec. 30. — The times are dreadfully hard. The super- 
erogatory act of tyranny which the President exercised in removing 


the deposits has produced a state of alarm and panic unprece- 
dented in our city. The friends of the United States Bank on the 
one side, and the whole array of Jackson men, together with the 
friends of the Pet Banks, on the other, mutually accuse each other 
of being the cause of the pressure ; and so between them both, the 
community groans under the distress which these misunderstand- 
ings have created. " A plague on both your houses ! " I say. The 
truth is, we are smarting under the lash which the vindictive ruler 
of our destinies has inflicted upon us as a penalty for the sin which 
Nicholas Biddle committed in opposing his election. My share of 
punishment amounts to $20,000, which I have lost by the fall of 
stocks in the last sixty days. Delaware and Hudson Canal Com- 
pany stock has fallen suddenly from one hundred and twenty- five 
per cent, to seventy-five per cent. ; Boston and Providence Rail- 
road, from one hundred and fifteen per cent, to eighty-eight per 
cent. ; Camden and Amboy, from one hundred and fifty per cent, 
to one hundred and twenty-five per cent. Delaware and Hudson 
fell twenty per cent, in two days, owing principally to the foilure 
of Shipman & Corning, brokers, who have been gambling in the 
stock, and being caught with heavy contracts when the fall took 
place, were unable to fulfil them, and a great amount of hypothet- 
icated stock was thrown at once in the market. The removal of 
the deposits I believe to be the great cause of the pecuniary dis- 
tress, to which may be added the operation of cash duties on wool- 
lens, which brings a large amount of payments into the Treasury. 
The gambling in stocks which has been carried on by the brokers 
to an extent disgraceful to the commercial character of the city is 
another cause of the distress. It consists in selling out stocks 
ahead, as it is called, where a man buys and sells to the amount of 
millions, without owning a dollar of the stock, betting it will fall, 
and then taking pains by every kind of lying and chicanery to 
injure the reputation of the stock that he may win. This, the 
good sense of the merchants, aided by the endeavours of the hon- 
ourable part of the brokers, may remedy in time, and the effect of 

86 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 53. 

doMble engagements at the Custom- House will soon end, for the 
old bonds are nearly run out. But the great cause of the evil, the 
opposition of General Jackson to the Bank of the United States, 
admits no ray of hope. He has said it. He takes the responsi- 
bility. His flatterers, the sycophants who crawl beneath his feet, 
impose upon his weakness and flatter his vanity ; they persuade him 
that his obstinacy is firmness, and his vengeance Roman dignity. 

Tuesday, Dec. 31. — The year 1833 commenced with brilliant 
prospects of national prosperity and individual happiness, and 
during the greater part of the year those prospects continued 
unchanged, and the fair expectations of those who were reasonably 
sanguine appeared likely to be realized. The merchants were 
doing a good and profitable business, and the bounty of Providence, 
which gave plentiful crops to the farmer, and the state of foreign 
and domestic commerce, .which afforded him a good and certain 
market, enriched the country and enabled the merchants in other 
States to meet their New York engagements with punctuality. 
Real estate increased in value, money was as plenty as it ought to 
be, and the improvement of the city kept pace with the enterprise 
and resources of the citizens. But the change is melancholy, and 
has fallen upon us so suddenly that men feel the blow and know 
not whence it comes. Public confidence is shaken, personal 
property has no fixed value, and sauve qui pent is the maxim of 
the day. Never in any year did the 31st of December fail so com- 
pletely to redeem the pledges of the i st of January. 



TANUARY I . — The year commences with a beautiful, mild, sun- 
*^ shiny day. May it prove ominous of a dispersion of the politi- 
cal clouds which hang over the country, and of the cheerfulness 
which will result from a restoration of confidence among our 
citizens and a return of good times ! 

Wednesday, Ja\. 8. — Anniversary of the battle of New Orleans. 
It was a proud day for America, and the chief who then " plucked 
up the drowning honour of the nation by the locks," well deserved 
the gratitude of the people. But, alas, how has he been overpaid, 
and at what a sacrifice have they rewarded his services ! Any arm 
which has strength enough to wield a hammer and an axe may 
destroy the most beautiful work of a Phidias or a Michael Angelo ; 
but where is the artist who can restore its desecrated remains to 
their original beauty, and where the power which can bid the deli- 
cate machinery of individual credit and public confidence to resume 
its harmonious functions when once deranged and put out of tune 
by the hands of ignorance and misdirected power ? 

Tuesday, Jan. 21. — The commercial distress caused by the de- 
rangement of the relations between the Government and the Bank 
of the United States does not appear to be alleviated. On the 
contrary, the sacrifices which are necessary to support individual 
credit are becoming more oppressive, and there seems to be no 
quarter of the political horizon to which men are to look for a ray 
of sunshine. In both Houses of Congress the all-absorbing topic 
of the removal of the deposits occupies the time, and the members 
on both sides of the question seem determined to have their talk 
out. Mr. Webster stands on ground of his own. He belongs to 
none of the political parties, — the friend of his country and the 
supporter of the Constitution. As chairman of the Committee of 


Finance, he is preparing to come out with a report from which much 
is expected. His chance of success in any measure to settle the 
present difficulty is better than that of any other man, from the 
nature of his position. It is not impossible that he may enjoy 
the triumph of saving his country. Mr. Clay had that triumph 
last season ; the effect of his compromise of the tariff question is 
now apparent and acknowledged by all. For if that question had 
been left unsettled and suffered to mix with those other subjects 
which agitate the public mind and fill the hearts of good men with 
alarm for the future, it is impossible to say what would have been 
the consequences. But Mr. Clay can do nothing now ; the bitter 
feeling of animosity which the President entertains toward that 
patriot forbids the possibility of his exercising any influence over 
the minds of the party which constitutes the majority in the lower 
House. Mr. Webster may succeed better. He does not stand so 
much in the way, and they may not be unwilling to adopt with 
him some terms of compromise. Of one thing we may be certain, 
— that the honour of the country and the security of its institutions 
are safe in his hands. 

Wednesday, Jan. 22. — The memorial to Congress, adopted at 
the meeting on Saturday, has received three thousand signatures, 
embracing nearly all the respectable merchants ; and a meeting was 
called at the same place. No. 40 William street, but the numbers 
were so great that the meeting adjourned to the Exchange. Jona- 
than Goodhue was chairman, and John P. Stagg, secretary. The 
following gentlemen were appointed delegates to proceed with the 
memorial to Washington : James G. King, D. W. C. Ol3-phant, 
James Boorman, George S. Robbins, Pelatiah Perit, John Crumby, 
Sam. S. Howland, James W. Otis, Charles H. Russell, Robert C. 
Cornell, John A. Stephens, and G. P. Disosway. 

Thursday, J.\n. 23. — This was the most brilliant 

Part ^^ ^ affair we have seen in a long time. " ]Mr. Ray at 

home, Thursday, 23d inst. Quadrilles at nine 

o'clock." The very cards gave promise of quehiue chose distin- 

CX n fevo-^Vi-^M 


gi/cc. The fashionable world rushed with excited expectation to 
the gay scene, and none were disappointed, Mr. Ray has the 
finest house in New York, and it is furnished and fitted up in a 
style of the utmost magnificence, — painted ceilings, gilded mould- 
ings, rich satin ottomans, curtains in the last Parisian taste, and 
splendid mirrors which reflect and multiply all the 7-ays, great and 

On this occasion all the science of all the accomplished artistes 
was put in requisition ; decorators, cooks, and confectioners vied 
with each other, and each in his vocation seemed to have produced 
the ne plus ultra ; and, unlike other entertainments of the kind, 
the spirit of jealousy and emulation cannot be excited to an incon- 
venient degree, for as no person possesses such a house, and very 
few the means to show it off in the same style, it will not be con- 
sidered incumbent upon others to attempt to rival this splendid 
fttc, and it will be no disgrace to play second fiddle to such a 

Tuesday, Jan. 28. — The strong expression of public opinion 
which the circulation of the memorial to Congress has called forth 
occasions great alarm amongst the Jackson men, and orders have 
been issued from the " Republican General Committee " at 
Tammany Hall for meetings to be held in the several wards 
to-morrow evening and a general meeting on Thursday evening, 
not of citizens interested in the momentous question which 
occupies every mind, but of the Jackson party, who are to 
approve all that has been, or may be, done. The sufferings of 
the merchants from present evils, and the fearful apprehensions 
of the future, are of no moment compared to the preservation of 
party discipline. Many of the President's political friends regret 
the ill-advised and rash step which he took in removing the 
deposits, but they dare not advise him to make the only amends 
in his power, by retracing it. The pressure increases. Stocks fall 
every day; Delaware and Hudson sold to-day at sixty-eight per 
cent. ; Boston and Providence Railroad, eighty-three per cent. ; 

90 THE DIARY OF miLIP HONE. [/Etat. 54. 

Mohawk and Hudson, about the same. It was worth once, one 
hundred and ninety per cent. I believe Cambreling sold out at 
that, and now he is one of the set who laugh at our misfortunes, 
and refuse to take those measures for our relief which are within 
their power as representatives of the people. 

Wednesday, J.4N. 29. — The old line of Liverpool 
Packets. packcts Originally established by Isaac Wright and 

Francis Thompson has been sold out, and Goodhue 
& Co. are to be the agents in the future ; the house of Baring 
& Co., of London, is said to be concerned in the speculation. 
Six fine ships have been purchased for $216,000, or $36,000 each. 
The establishment of this line of packets and the punctuality with 
which it has been conducted served as a pioneer and pattern to 
all other lines which were subsequently established between this 
port and London, Liverpool, Havre, and la Vera Cruz, and has 
contributed more than any other cause to the commercial pros- 
perity of New York, and her unrivalled eminence among her 
sister cities. The original proprietors, Wright & Thompson 
(both of whom are deceased), were well calculated for such an 
undertaking; bold and enterprising, they were distinguished for 
habits of industry and methodical correctness in business, peculiar 
to the religious sect (the Quakers) of which they were mem- 
bers ; and notwithstanding the pecuniary difficulties which one of 
them, Mr. Thompson, had to contend with, and which terminated 
in his failure, the line of packets has been kept up in its original in- 
tegrity, and its business has been always well conducted until now, 
w^hen it has passed into other hands equally competent to its 
management, and possessing in a high degree the confidence and 
good opinion of the public. 

Friday, Feb. 7. — Out of forty-six packet-ships plying between 
New York and London, Liverpool, and Havre, but two are now 
in port, both of which, in the ordinary course of things, ought to 
sail to-morrow. Our latest advices from Liverpool are seventy- 
one days old, London seventy-two, and Paris seventy-five. This 


has never before happened since the establishment of regular 
lines of American packets, about forty years ago, it is said, when 
there were only British packets running between here and Liver- 
pool, one leaving each port monthly. It happened on one 
occasion that the packets for December, January, and February 
all arrived here on the same day. 

A public meeting having been called by a notice 
^^/^ signed by many respectable names of " the citizens 

who are opposed to the removal of the deposits from 
the Bank of the United States, and who are in favour of a sound 
currency by means of a national bank," an immense concourse 
assembled at twelve o'clock at the place of meeting, — the park. 
The number is computed at from twelve to fifteen thousand. I was 
waited upon by a committee and requested to officiate as chair- 
man. When I came on the ground, precisely at twelve o'clock, I 
found an immense crowd already assembled, consisting principally 
of the most respectable mechanics and others in the city, — men of 
character, respectability, and personal worth, with a few miscreants 
who went, perhaps, of their own accord, but were more probably 
sent there to excite disturbance and disturb the proceedings. The 
rabble had gotten possession of the chair, and it required some 
hard thumps to clear the way sufficiently for me to come forward. 
I attempted to address the meeting, but the yells of the mob, and 
the noise of better-disposed persons in attempting to command 
silence, rendered all my efforts unavailing ; so I put the question 
upon the resolutions, which were carried by an immense majority, 
and then adjourned the meeting ; but the mob did not disperse 
for a considerable time afterward. This apparently organized 
outrage upon the freedom of the citizens cannot fail to strengthen 
our cause, for they will not consent to be muffled, and will con- 
vince their rulers that public opinion means something more 
than the drilled voices of certain political friends of General 
Jackson, who are pledged, body and soul, to support him at all 

92 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 54. 

Tuesday, Feb. i i . — The delegates who were ap- 
AieeUn pointcd to Carry the merchants' memorial to Washing- 

ton having returned, a meeting of the signers was 
called this afternoon at the Exchange to receive their report. 
Such a meeting never before assembled in New York. When I 
reached the spot at the hour of meeting, the great room in the 
Exchange with all its avenues, the vestibule, and the porch were 
filled, and three or four thousand persons occupied the street in 
front, — all firm and enthusiastic, but orderly and decorous in the 
extreme. The meeting within doors was organized precisely at 
half-past four o'clock by the appointment of Jonathan Goodhue 
as chairman, and John P. Stagg, secretary. The report of the 
delegates, announcing the unsuccessful result of their mission, was 
read by James G. King. On motion of John A. Stevens, the 
following resolution was adopted unanimously : " That with a 
view to the importance of combining mercantile influence and 
opinions for commercial and not for party ends, and by the exer- 
cise of this influence to ameliorate present distresses and to avert 
future evils, that a Union Committee of twenty-five persons be 
now appointed, whose duty it shall be to confer with committees 
of the State and national banks, with a view to produce that entire 
concert and harmony of action essential to enable them to afford 
the greatest possible relief to the community." The following 
persons were appointed and constitute the Union Committee : 
Albert Gallatin, James G. King, Jonathan Goodhue, G. G. How- 
land, John Haggerty, Nathaniel Weed, James Boorman, John W. 
Leavitt, James Brown, David Lee, Rufus L. Lord, Fanning C. 
Tucker, Isaac Carow, Elbert J. Anderson, John G. Coster, 
Francis Olmstead, Thomas Brooks, Charles H. Russell, Herbert 
Van Wagenen, E. G. Fale, Joseph Kernochan, Philip Hone, 
John A. Stevens, John P. Stagg, and D. W. C. Olyphant. The 
meeting then adjourned into the street, and the vast body came 
pouring down the principal avenue like a mighty rushing river 
to mix with the multitudinous sea beneath. The whole street 


from William street to a distance below the Exchange was a com- 
pact, solid mass of men. I was called upon from all parts of the 
crowd to read the report and resolutions for the benefit of the 
out-door part of the concern, and was placed in a conspicuous 
situation on one of the pedestals at the end of the steps forming 
the great entrance. I was received in the most flattering manner, 
and read them with considerable effect, notwithstanding the dis- 
advantage I suffered from not having seen the papers or heard 
them read previously. I then adjourned the meeting, and the 
great, the sublime, the intelligent mass separated and retired with 
decorum and dignity. Such an assemblage has never before been 
witnessed in New York ; the spectacle from the elevation on 
which I stood was extremely imposing, — a solid mass of heads 
with faces beaming with intelligence, actuated by one strong 
feeling, silent, attentive, decorous ; e\'ery sentiment was under- 
stood, every patriotic expression in the report and resolution 
responded to with feeling and retlection. If this is not a public 
opinion, we may look in vain for it. 

Washington, Monday, ]\Iarch 3. — Our party, with the Kembles, 
left Baltimore at seven o'clock and arrived here at three, and I got 
a good room at Gadsby's, which had been previously engaged for me 
by Mr. Selden. At five o'clock I went to dine with Baron Behr. He 
has the apartments formerly occupied by Bankhead, and the cook 
also, an artiste of the highest grade. The Colonel and I went to 
the theatre to see the Kembles in " Hamlet ; " but Fanny Kemble in 
the Washington Theatre is like a canary-bird in a mouse-trap, and I 
soon came away and went to a delightful party at Mrs. Tayloe's. 
There I met many distinguished people and all the Washington belles. 

March 4. — I called this morning on the Vice-President, Secre- 
taries McLane, Cass, and Woodbury, and several others. In the 
number was Sir Charles R. Vaughan, who, while I was so engaged, 
was at my lodgings, having with his usual kindness laid aside eti- 
quette, and called as soon as he heard of my being in town to 
engage me for dinner to-morrow. 

94 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 54. 

The terrible question which agitates the whole country is as for 
as ever from a happy termination. The late message of the Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania, attributing the financial distress of the 
country to the Bank of the United States, has thrown all aback, for 
better things were expected. The President is more obstinate than 
ever, and the Speaker (Stevenson), with whom I had a talk this 
morning, is as subservient as the most docile man at Tammany 
Hall. How is it possible that a high-minded Virginian like him 
should consent to administer to the vanity and prejudice of a weak, 
unreasonable old man? But my friend wishes to go to England. 
My first visit this morning was to Mr. Clay, He says our only hope 
is in the elections in our State and Pennsylvania. Let them go for 
us, antl a sufficient majority will be found in Congress to set things 
right, in spite of the opposition of the greatest and best. Our only 
rehef is in the ballot-boxes. Is it not worth fighting for? 

March 5 . — I returned a number of visits, walked up to the 
Capitol with Mr. Webster and Mr. Chauncey, spent two or three 
hours in the two Houses (the ladies were too wise to go in, but pur- 
sued their walk), and afterward went to dine with Sir Charles R. 
Vaughan, where we had the Kembles, Commodore and Mrs. 
Chauncey, De Behr, Colonel McDougal, etc. Lynch dined with 
us, but he is on a pretty severe regimen, and looks poorly. 

March 6. — The proceedings in the House have been more in- 
teresting to me than heretofore. I was admitted upon the floor, a 
favour conferred so charily under the present rules as very much to 
enhance its value. This gave me a fine opportunity to converse 
with all the leading members. Among others I had a long talk 
about the state of affairs with that sagacious man, John Quincy 
Adams; and if I was not instructed, it was my own fault. He 
agrees with Mr. Clay that our only hope lies in the elections in 
New York and Pennsylvania, particularly our charter election. I 
heard Mr. Webster argue a cause in the Supreme Court. I say 
with the fair- Venetian, " Would that Heaven had made me such a 
man ! " Mr. Preston, the new senator from South Carolina, is a 


very interesting man. I had along conversation with him at Major 
Smith's. He is ardent and romantic like his countrymen, and 
apparently well educated ; an eloquent speaker (and saving the sin 
of nullification) , a wise and patriotic statesman. 

March 7. — Contrary to my expectation, this has been a great 
day in the Senate. Mr. Webster made a glorious speech on the 
presentation of a memorial in favour of the bank and of a restora- 
tion of the deposits, and Mr. Clay introduced the proceedings on 
the same subject of a meeting of mechanics concerned in building 
in Philadelphia, in one of the most eloquent appeals to the feelings 
of his audience that I have ever heard. It was solemn, energetic, 
and impressive, especially in that part in which he addressed the 
Vice-President personally, and exhorted him to use the influence he 
possesses over the President to persuade him to a better course of 
measures. "And if I touch your heart," said he, "and persuade 
you to come to the rescue of your suffering country, I shall merit 
her gratitude and promote your glory." Touch Mr. Van Buren's 
heart, — good ! Mr. Webster beckoned me out of the Senate into 
one of the committee- rooms, where we had more than an hour's talk. 
He unburdened his mind fully on the state of affairs and future 
prospects, explained all that has passed, and fully laid open his 
future plans. He will be in New York in a fortnight, for one night, 
when he wishes me to convene a few of our political .friends to 
meet and consult with him. His plans for an extension of the 
bank charter will be laid before the Senate on Monday, where it 
will . lie for a fortnight. He showed it to me, and explained his 
views and expectations in relation to it. I was exceedingly flattered 
by this mark of Mr. Webster's confidence, and certainly never 
heard a man talk so. 

March 8. — I dined with the Vice-President, where I met a 
large party of officers, diplomats, and members of Congress. 

March 9. — I called for Mrs. Webster this morning, and went 
with her to the Episcopal church on President's square, where 
Rev. Mr. Hawley preached ; after which Commodore Chauncey 


and I drove out to the navy yard, where we made a pleasant visit 
to Commodore Hull and the ladies. The Commodore presented 
me with a box made from one of the original live-oak timbers of 
the frigate " Constitution." I dined with Judge Wayne and Mr. 
Cambreling, and passed the remainder of the evening with Mr. 

New York, March 15. — The President has renominated to 
the Senate the Government directors of the Bank of the United 
States whom they rejected the other day, with a threat, it is said, 
that he will appeal to the people if their nomination is not con- 
firmed. It is difficult to tell what this means, but his hostility 
against the Senate will lead him into some extravagant acts of rage, 
which he relies upon his popularity to bear him out of. Selden 
has returned to Washington. He was received by the merchants 
at the Exchange with cheers and other marks of their approval of 
his conduct, Mr. Biddle returned yesterday to Philadelphia. 
Crowds of people followed him in Wall street, to gaze upon the 
man who has been made conspicuous by the unrelenting hostility 
of President Jackson. The merchants, however, expressed their 
approbation of his course by applause similar to that which they 
gave to Mr. Selden. 

March 18. — Washington Irving acquainted me with a circum- 
stance to-day which occasions me the deepest regret. Stuart 
Newton, the eminent painter, his friend and mine, was, at the last 
accounts from London, a lunatic confined in a mad-house. His 
poor wife, the former lovely Miss Sullivan, with her child is in the 
greatest possible distress, and has written to her father to come out 
and bring her home when death shall have closed her husband's 
unhappy calamity. I am told there is a taint of madness in 
Newton's family; his uncle, Gilbert Stuart, the great portrait 
painter, had the character of a very eccentric man, at least. It is 
melancholy to observe how slight is the division line between the 
higher order of genius and the loss of intellect. Stupidity is a com- 
fortable quality ; men grow rich and fat and easy under it ; they 


live out their days, and sleep sound at night, and do not scorch 
their brains by soaring into the bright regions of imagination. I saw 
Weir afterward, who told me that he has heard that Newton is dead. 
March 19. — The Committee of National Republicans ap- 
pointed to nominate a mayor met last evening, and nominated for 
that office Gulian C. Verplanck. This gentleman was ousted from 
his seat in Congress by the Jackson party, because he would not 
go all lengths in his opposition to the United States Bank. In that 
point of view he is a good candidate, and his success will be a 
triumph for the bank party ; but I do not think him a popular man, 
or by any means well qualified for the office. He is not a prac- 
tical man ; learned he certainly is, and an able \vriter on subjects 
connected with belles-lettres and the fine arts ; but he knows little 
of mankind, and his political course has been unsteady as the 
wind. Still he must be supported. The Tammany men have sent 
a deputation to Albany to obtain Charles L. Livingston's consent 
to nm as their candidate for the mayoralty. He is more suited for 
the office, and if he had not committed himself againt his judg- 
ment in the approval of the ruinous course of measures pursued 
by the administration in relation to the bank, I would have sup- 
ported him with all my heart. As it is, I shall have to make some 
sacrifice of feeling in voting for Mr. Verplanck against him. But 
it cannot be helped ; the salvation of the country depends in a 
great measure upon the defeat of the Jackson party in the struggle 
which will come on next month, and personal predilections must 
give way to the public good. 

March 21. — Mr. Livingston refuses, it is under- 
stood, to run as mayor. Mr. Cornelius W. Lawrence 

Mayor. ' ■' 

has been applied to, and consents to run as the candi- 
date of the Jackson or Tammany party. This is a bold measure 
on the part of the Jackson men. Mr. Lawrence is now their 
congressman, and circumstances have placed him on prominent 
ground as an opposer of the bank and supporter of the meas- 
ures of the administration (against his conscience, as I believe on 


mine) . He has been vilified by the delegates of the merchants 
for refusing to present their memorial, and his name has been 
hissed when it occurred in their report. He is most heartily sick 
of his present situation, but he is compelled by his party to accept 
the nomination of mayor. This will be a fair trial of. the issue, 
— Mr. Lawrence, the man who has for the sake of party proved 
recreant to the interests of the merchants, of which profession 
he is a member, on the one side, and Mr. Verplanck, who lost 
his seat in Congress because he would not pursue the same course, 
on the other. The personal characters of both these gentlemen 
are irreproachable. Verplanck at first declined the nomination, 
but it is now understood that he consents to serve. 

March 25. — I availed myself of a regular rainy day to stay at 
home and prepare books for binding and file my letters. Such a 
day once in a while is a jewel beyond price. 

April 2. — Politics occupy all my time. Mr. Webster wrote me 
from Washington that he would be in New York this afternoon on 
his way to Boston, and agreeably to his suggestion when I saw him 
in Washington, I invited a number of our political friends to meet 
him at my house. James G. King, G. G. Howland, Giraud, and 
Isaac dined with us at three o'clock ; at four Mr. Webster arrived, 
and found the following gentlemen assembled to receive him : 
Jonathan Goodhue, Samuel Ward, James G. King, Charles H. 
Russell, David B. Ogden, John A. Stevens, Joseph Hoxie, Jacob P. 
Giraud, George F. Talman, Isaac S. Hone, G. G. Howland, David 
S. Jones, A. Chandler, Samuel Stevens, Charles King, Hugh Max- 
well, John W. Leavitt, Philip W. Engs, and George Zabriskie. 
We had a full, free, and interesting conversation, in which the 
great Massachusetts senator detailed all his operations during the 
session, and confirmed in the most emphatic manner the declara- 
tion which he made to me at Washington, that the hopes of our 
friends there to bring about a favourable change in the affairs of the 
country rely mainly upon the success of the great struggle which 
is to take place in New York next week. 


April 3. — Mr. Webster left New York for Boston at five 
o'clock this afternoon ; the wharf near the steamboat was crowded 
with people, who saluted him with repeated cheers. Thousands 
pressed forward for a sight of the defender of the people's rights 
and the supporter of the Constitution and laws of the country. 

April 4. — Mr. John Jacob Astor arrived yesterday in the 
packet-ship " Utica " from Havre. The news of his wife's death 
will be the first to meet him. He comes in time to witness the 
pulling down of the block of houses next to that on which I live, 
— the whole front from Barclay to Vesey street, on Broadway, — 
where he is going to erect a New York palais royal, which will 
cost him fiv-e or six hundred thousand dollars. 

Tuesday, April 8. — The election for mayor and charter officers 
commenced this day with a degree of spirit and zeal in both par- 
ties never before witnessed. This is the first election for mayor 
by the people since the new law, and has acquired immense im- 
portance, since it is considered a test of the appro\-al or disap- 
proval of the people of New York of the arbitrary and unconstitu- 
tional measures of the President and his advisers, and as it \vill 
influence the politics of the State in the more important elections 
next fall. The number of votes will be very great (probably thirty- 
five thousand) ; the Whig party, whose candidate for mayor is Mr. 
Verplanck, are active, zealous, and confident of success. A great 
meeting was held yesterday at four o'clock, at the Exchange, at 
which Benjamin Strong presided, and John W. Leavitt and 
Edmund Penfold were secretaries. The meeting was addressed by 
John A. Stevens, George W. Bruen, James G. King, Charles H. 
Russell, and Chandler Starr, and several resolutions were passed, 
one of which recommends to the merchants and traders to omit 
their usual attendance at the Exchange, and to close their stores 
and places of business at noon on each of the three days of the 
election, in order to devote their undivided attention to the great 
business pf reform at the polls. This last suggestion has been in 
part obser\-e(l ; many stores are closed to-day, and several have 

lOO THE DIARY OF I'lllLIP HONE. [^tat. 54. 

notices on the doors that the inmates are gone to the polls to vote 
for Verplanck. A very large meeting was also held last evening of 
adopted citizens at Masonic Hall to approve the course of Dr. 
MacNeven in joining our party. After the meeting adjourned they 
went to his house and cheered him, and he addressed them, wish- 
ing the party success. They came also before piy door and gave 
me some hearty huzzas, but I was unfortunately absent, having 
gone to the theatre with my girls and Miss Kane. My wife was 
alarmed at the row, as I had a visit of another kind a few evenings 
since from a party of the retainers of Tammany Hall, and she was 
not able in her fright to distinguish between the shouts of enemies 
and the cheers of friends. 

Thursday, April 10. — Last day of the election; dreadful riots 
between the Irish and the Americans have again disturbed the pub- 
lic peace. The Mayor arrived with a strong body of watchmen, 
but they were attacked and overcome, and many of the watchmen 
are severely wounded. Eight of them were carried to the hospital, 
where I went to visit them. The Mayor has ordered out Colonel 
Sanford's regiment and a troop of horse, and proper measures have 
been taken to preserve order, but we apprehend a dreadful night. 
This outrage has been instigated by a few men in the sixth ward, 
— George D. Strong, Abraham LeRoy, Dr. Rhinelander, Preserved 
Fish, and a few like him. Let them answer for it. 

Friday, April i i . — Such an excitement ! So wonderful is the 
result of this election that all New York has been kept in a state of 
alarm ; immense crowds have been collected at Masonic and Tam- 
many Halls, but the greatest concourse was in front of the 
Exchange. The street was a dense mass of people. Partial 
returns were coming in every few minutes, and so close has been 
the vote that the Whigs at the Exchange and the small party for 
Jackson in front of the office of the " Standard " opposite shouted 
alternately as the news was favourable to one or the other ; and up to 
the last moment the result was doubtful, when, at the close of the 
canvass, the majority for Mr. Lawrence, the Jackson candidate, out 


of the immense number of votes? — thirty-five thousand one hundred 
and forty-one — was found to be one hundred and seventy- nine. 
There is no doubt, however, that we have elected a majority of 
aldermen and assistants. The Common Council is reformed, and 
we shall succeed in the great fall election. It is a signal triumph 
of good principles over violence, illegal voting, party discipline, and 
the influence of office-holders. 

April 12. — The following gentlemen dined with us, all Whigs, 
and most of them active men in the late contest ; it was a feast 
of triumph for the result of the election, and we drank success to 
the cause in the best wine I had to give them : Francis Granger, 
John Greig, Bryant P. Tilden, of Boston, who has just arrived from 
Canton, Sydney Brooks, William H. Aspinwall, Simeon Draper, 
Jr., Charles King, Charles H. Hammond, Isaac S. Hone, Charles 
H. Russell, and James Monroe. 

April 15. — This was the day of the great fete at Castle Gar- 
den to celebrate the triumph gained by the Whig party in the late 
charter election in this city, and it went off gloriously. Tens of 
thousands of freemen, full of zeal and patriotism, filled the area 
of the castle ; every inch of ground was occupied. Tables were 
spread in a double row within the outer circumference ; three pipes 
of wine and forty barrels of beer were placed in the centre under 
an a\vning, and served out during the repast. Many speeches 
were made, regular and volunteer toasts were drunk, and the beau- 
tiful little frigate " Constitution," which has borne so conspicuous 
a station in the late struggle, was placed upon the top of the build- 
ing which forms the entrance to the garden, from which she fired 
a salute during the/r/d'. All was enthusiasm, and the shouts from 
time to time rent the air. But on a signal given the immense 
concourse broke up in good order, and no excess or rioting 
marred the pleasure of the day. Six or eight thousand men 
formed a procession, and marched off the Battery, preceded by a 
band of music. Of these, a large number went into Greenwich 
street. Having learned that Mr, Webster (who had declined the 


invitation of the committee to unitIS in the celebration at Castle 
Garden) was on a visit to Mrs. Edgar, they formed in a solid body 
before the house, and called for him. He made his appearance 
at one of the windows, and was received with shouts that rent the 
air. I was admitted through the basement, and having passed 
through the kitchen, came into the front room as Mr. Webster 
began to address the multitude. His address was full of fire, and 
was received with rapturous shouts. After he retired, he was 
called again, and spoke a few words more, when the mighty mass 
moved off as they came, with order and propriety. I walked up 
with him as far as my house. He was engaged to sup with Mr. 
Samuel Stevens, where I was also invited, but did not go. 

April 16. — Giraud and I started this morning 
Excurs^ion ^^ ^ fishing cxcursioH to Long Island. We dined 
at Timothy Carman's, where we met John Suydam, 
Garrit Storm, Edmund Smith, and Augustus Wynkoop. We went 
on to Snedecor's after dinner, where we found the house so 
full that if we had not taken the precaution to write in advance for 
beds, we might have lain on the floor. There was Hamilton 
Wilkes, William E. Laight, Mr. Kortright, Thomas Morris, Clinton 
Norton, and several others, some of whom were on their return 
from the Fire-place. The weather was fine, with southerly wind — 
a good prospect for fishing. 

We came to Sam Carman's at eleven o'clock, and took a good 
mess of trout. Mr. Suydam and Mr. Storm came to dine with us, 
Mr. Smith and Mr. Wynkoop having gone down to the bay brant- 
shooting. They returned to Patchogue after dinner ; easterly 
wind and cold, but the fish are plenty. 

Saturday. — Cloudy weather and rain part of the morning and 
a severe thunder-storm in the afternoon. Giraud and I went down 
the creek with Joe in the boat to fisli, and I took some of the 
largest trout I ever saw. One weighed two pounds seven ounces, 
and one two pounds. Joe Carman took the largest, weighing two 
pounds twelve ounces. They were a beautiful sight. We have 


been rather unfortunate in weather, but I have never seen the fish 
so fine and so plentiful. 

Wednesday, April 23. — What a pile of news- 
At Home. papers to read and what a bundle of letters to answer, 
and how much news to record in this journal ! The 
Whigs of rhiladclphia hatl a grand celebration yesterday at 
Powelton on the Schuylkill of our late victory. Philadelphia is 
not the only city which has celebrated our victory. The Whigs 
of Albany fired one hundred guns. Buffalo made a great affair of 
it with guns and illuminations. Portsmouth, N.H., received the 
news with one hundred guns, had a town-meeting, and made 
speeches. There was also a grand affair at Goshen, which 
brought all Orange County together. Baltimore is making prep- 

Mr. Leslie, the painter, sailed for England on Wednesday, 
having resigned the office of professor of drawing in the Military 
Academy at West Point. On the evening before his departure 
he met a large party of artists and literary gentlemen, at the rooms 
of the Academy of Design. I was invited^ but it was the evening 
of the day on which I left town. Weir is an applicant for the 
office which Leslie has left. I wrote in his behalf to the Secretary 
of War, who replied to me in the most frank manner, that if the 
place became vacant Mr. ^Veir should have the appointment. 

May I. — Mr. Astor commenced this morning the demolition 
of the valuable buildings on the block fronting Broadway from 
Barclay to Vesey street, on which ground his great hotel is to be 
erected. The dust and rubbish will be almost intolerable ; but 
the estabUshment will be a great public advantage, and the 
edifice an ornament to the city, and for centuries to come will 
serve, as it was probably intended, as a monument of its wealthy 
proprietor. T am sorry to observe since Mr. Astor's return from 
Europe that his health is declining. He appears sickly and 
feeble, and I have some doubt if he will live to witness the com- 
pletion of his splendid edifice. 

104 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.Etat. 54. 

May 12. — Cornelius W. Lawrence, the mayor-elect, made his 
triumphal entry on Saturday. The Tammany party determined to 
make the most of the little they gained in the late charter 
election, mustered all their forces, hired a steamboat, and went 
down to Amboy, where they received their mayor, elected by a 
majority of one hundred and eighty-one out of thirty-five 
thousand votes, with colours flying and loud huzzas ; had a dinner 
on board, when Jackson toasts were drunk and Jackson speeches 
made ; and on his landing at Castle Garden he was placed in a 
barouche with four white horses, and attended by Walter Bowne, 
Stephen Allen, Preserved Fish, and two or three hundred of their 
followers, paraded through the streets. I pity poor Lawrence 
sincerely. He is not suited to such things, and will not be suited 
to the office into which they are about to thrust him. He was 
uncomfortable in his seat in Congress : there was (as my late 
venerable friend Dr. Stanford once told me) a pin in the cushion ; 
but he will find pins and thorns enough in that which he is 
to assume to-morrow, and I am mistaken in the man if lie will not 
consider the shouts of a set of mere party demagogues a poor 
compensation for the forfeiture of the good opinion of that 
part of his fellow-citizens with whom he has hitherto associated. 

May 13. — The following gentlemen dined with us : Lord Pow- 
erscourt, Jacob Harvey, Mr. Parnell, George Barclay, Captain 
Campbell, John Laurie, Capt. H. Hamilton, Henry Cary. Lord 
Powerscourt, who has just arrived in the United States, is a young 
Irish lord only nineteen years of age. He appears to be modest 
and intelligent. We were much pleased with him at dinner. His 
travelling companion, Mr. Parnell, also a young man, is a nephew 
of Sir Henry Parnell. 

ISIay 15. — The unsightly wooden railings in the park have been 
removed and chestnut posts erected in their place, from which iron 
chains are to be appended, which will improve the prospect from 
my house. Mr. Astor's buildings are nearly all removed ; the dust 
from the immense mass of rubbish has been almost intolerable for 


the last fortnight, and tlie crowds who promenade Broadway are 
compelled, like many of the politicians of the present day, to 
change sides, with this difference, that the one comes over to my 
side and the other leaves it. 

May 20, — Something in Major Downing's style. Two or three 
of us were talking together yesterday morning on board the steam- 
boat and, as is the fashion now-a-days, abusing General Jackson, 
and marvelling at the undeserved popularity which he still enjoys 
in some parts of our country, when the subject was illustrated by 
Colonel Worth in the following story : On the arrival of the stage 
in one of the towns in the interior of Pennsylvania, during the 
President's far-famed journey to the East, the crowd assembled in 
the bar-room of the tavern collected around the driver with the 
usual inquiry, "What news?" — "Why, haven't you heard?" said 
the waggish driver. " The General made his grand entry into Phila- 
delphia yesterday in a barouche drawn by four gray horses ; and 
the crowd pressing around him so as to obstruct his progress, he 
just stepped out of the carriage, drew his sword, and run one fellow 
clean through the body." — "The darned fool," exclaimed one of 
the auditors, " why didn't he stand out of the General's way ! " 

May 31. — Having been invited with a number of the stock- 
holders of the Boston and Providence Railroad Company to attend 
the opening of a part of the road and the meeting for the election 
of directors on Wednesday, I availed myself of the occasion to 
carry into effect an excursion to New Hampshire, Maine, and the 
White Hills. I brought with me my daughter Margaret and 
Joanna Anthon, and we embarked on board the fine steamboat 
" Boston," the accommodations of which are at least equal to any 
on the Hudson river. She has a round-house and pleasant state- 
rooms on the upper deck, one of whicli was occupied by the girls. 

Boston, June i. — The position of Newport is superb, and I 
was surprised to find it so large a town. The ride to Boston is 
beautiful ; we came through Dedham, by Roxbury and the Neck, 
and could not avoid being delighted with the view of the fine 


country, good roads, magnificent country-seats and neat cottages, 
notwithstanding it rained the whole afternoon. We got to Boston 
at seven o'clock, and dined at the Tremont House, where excellent 
quarters had been provided by the attention of Mr. Belknap, who 
called immediately to see us, and my reverend and excellent friend 
Dr. Wainwright sat half an hour with us. 

June 2. — The storm is over, and this morning we assembled in 
our pleasant parlour which overlooks the extensive cemetery of Park- 
street church and its ancient elms. We arrived at Sharon, where 
we met the railroad party, consisting of Messrs. ^^'oolsey, Towns- 
end, and Russell, of New York; Jackson, Wales, Thomas, and 
George Perkins ; Loring, Moran, Riviere, and others from Boston ; 
and Ives and Potter from Providence, with the gentlemen of the 
engineer department. We sat down to a good dinner provided for 
the occasion, with excellent wines, which had been brought from 
Boston. We left Sharon, and after viewing several important 
points on the railroad, returned to Boston at nine o'clock. I then 
went to the Mayor's, General Lyman, who gave a soiree to the civil 
and military characters on the occasion of the annual election of 
the artillery company, where I met the Governor of the State, Mr. 
John Davis, a distinguished man, and Mr. Armstrong, the Lieuten- 
ant-Governor, with whom I was much pleased ; and many others 
whom it was well to know. Mr. Davis has been recently elected, 
and the State lost a most excellent and valuable representative in 
Congress when they gained in him a good governor. 

June 3. — The railroad party assembled at the depot to make an 
excursion on the road ; but there was some deficiency in the loco- 
motive engine, and the affair was postponed until to-morrow. 
Many of our friends called upon us during the morning, and after 
dinner jMr. William Appleton called in his carriage, and we took 
one of those beautiful drives with which the environs of Boston 
abound. We crossed the bridge to Cambridge, saw the colleges, 
and went to Mount Auburn, the great cemetery of Boston, from 
which it is distant about five miles. After leavinir ]\Iount Auburn 


we drove to Bunker's Hill. The monument which was begun with 
so much spirit eight or nine years ago on the spot where Warren 
fell, and where Great Britain was first taught to respect the energy 
and devotion of a people determined to be free, is still unfinished. 
It was commenced, as such things usually are in this country, upon 
too large a scale ; the funds have run out, and it will require fresh 
exertions and a new impulse to finish it upon the original plan. 

JuxE 4. — The directors and a number of invited gentlemen met 
at the depot of the company at nine o'clock and made the first 
trip on the railroad, under the direction of Captain McNeill, the 
chief engineer, and his assistants. The train of carriages was 
attached to a locomotive, and we went on very well to within a 
short distance of Dedham, where a collation was provided, with 
champagne, punch, etc. While we were partaking of this, the 
engineers indulged the country folk, — men, women, and children, 
— by riding them on the road a few miles, after which we returned 
at an accelerated speed, and came in town, ten miles, in twenty- five 

June 6. — The girls and I dined with Mr. Harrison G. Otis and 
Mrs. Ritchie, his daughter. They had an exceedingly agreeable 
party to meet us, and our dinner was pleasant as possible. We 
went from Mrs. Otis's to a party at Mr. William Sullivan's, where 
we found pleasant company and good music. Mr. Sullivan got a 
bottle of Eclipse wine for my special benefit, of which I had to 
drink two or three glasses, notwithstanding the copious libations to 
which I had been tempted where I dined. This Eclipse wine was 
imported into Boston in 1806, and arrived at the moment of the 
great solar eclipse, to which circumstance it owes its name, although 
it might claim it upon the ground of its eclipsing almost all other 
wines. I think it is perfection. 

Dover, N. H., June 9. — We finished our delightful visit at 
Boston, and came away in the stage at eight o'clock this morn- 
ing. Came to Newburyport, by Salem, thirty-five miles, to dinner. 
Then to Portsmouth. The Rockingham House has been lately 


fitted up. It was formerly the residence of Mr. Woodbury Lang- 
don, father of the gentleman who married Miss Astor. 

June 14. — The old Yankee character appears to me to be 
nearly extinct. I have taken pains to bring out some originals 
among the persons I have met since we left Boston ; I have found 
them generally civil and obliging and disposed to be communica- 
tive, but there are no oddities such as we used to meet in former 
days. The march of refinement and the progress of improvement 
which has substituted cotton-mills and railroads for mountains and 
cataracts has made men ashamed of those broad lines of national 
character which became them so well. 

New York, June 21. — The mail brought the " Jour- 
Lafayette, ^^^ °^ Commerce " of yesterday, which announces the 
arrival of the packet-ship " Silas Richards," bringing 
news from England to the 24th of May. My venerable friend 
Lafayette died at his house, Rue d'Anjou, a few minutes before 
five o'clock in the morning of the 20th of May, in the seventy- 
seventh year of his age. 

June 25. — The ceremonies in honour of Lafayette took place 
to-day under direction of a joint committee of the Common Coun- 
cil. It was the last tribute of New York to the last major-general 
of the Continental army, the hero of the American Revolution, the 
ardent apostle of liberty, the benevolent, the virtuous Lafayette, 
and everything was done as it should have been. An urn, covered 
by the wings of the American eagle, well done in bronze plaster, 
was drawn by four white horses in the centre of a hollow square 
formed by the Lafayette Guards and followed by the pall-bearers 
in barouches. These were members of the Cincinnati, associates of 
Lafayette in the War of the Revolution, and their selection was 
left with delicacy and good taste, by the committee, to the society. 
They consisted of the following: Major-General Morgan, Col. 
John Trumbull, Col. Simeon DeWitt, Maj. Samuel Cooper, Col. 
William North, Maj. William Popham, Col. John Van Dyke, and 
Capt. Nathaniel Norton. 


July 10. — Our city last evening was the scene of disgraceful 
riots. The first was at the Bowery Theatre. An actor by the 
name of Farren, whose benefit it was, liad made himself obnoxious 
by some ill-natured reflections upon the country, which called 
down the vengeance of the mob, who seemed determined to 
deserve the bad name which he had given them. An hour after 
the performance commenced the mob broke open the doors, took 
possession of every part of the house, committed every species of 
outrage, hissed and pelted poor Hamblin, not regarding the talisman 
which he relied upon, the American flag, which he waved over his 
head. This they disregarded, because the hand which held it was 
that of an Englishman, and they would listen to nobody but 
" American Forrest." He assured them that the object of their 
rage, Mr, Farren, had made a hasty exit, and the mob retired to 
enact a more disgraceful scene in another quarter. 

There has been of late great excitement in conse- 
Meetin'"" queucc of the proceedings of a set of fanatics who are 
determined to emancipate all the slaves by a coup de 
main, and have held meetings in which black men and women 
have been introduced. These meetings have been attended with 
tumult and violence, especially one which was held on Friday even- 
ing at the Chatham -street Chapel. Arthur Tappan and his 
brother Lewis have been conspicuous in these proceedings, and the 
mob last night, after exhausting their rage at the Bowery Theatre, 
went down in a body to the house of the latter gentleman in Rose 
street, broke into the house, destroyed the windows, and made a 
bonfire of the furniture in the street. The police at length inter- 
fered, rather tardily, I should think ; but the diabolical spirit which 
prompted this outrage is not quenched, and I apprehend we shall 
see more of it. 

July 18. — Edmund Charles Genet died on Wednesday last at 
his residence at Schodack, Rensselaer County. He was at one 
time an important personage. He came as minister of the French 
Republic to this country, and acted as became the representative 

no THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.^.tat. 54. 

of the madmen who, under the name of Hberty, were destroying 
their country and crushing the people. Nothing but the firmness 
of Washington prevented Genet from enUsting the people of this 
country in the cause of the French mob, and nothing but the per- 
sonal character of the saviour of his country could have availed 
to check the madness of the people. Genet was recalled on the 
downfall of his party ; but as he had no fancy to risk the separa- 
tion of his head from his shoulders, he stayed where he was, mar- 
ried a daughter of Governor Clinton (the elder), and became an 
American citizen, and, I suspect, from his visionary notions, rather 
a troublesome one to the neighbourhood in which he resided. 

July 22. — Mr. Frelinghuysen has been received with distin- 
guished honours on his return to his own State ; and Tslr. Sprague, 
of Maine, another of the worthies of the Senate, has made a 
triumphant journey through Portsmouth, N.H., and was received 
in the most flattering manner at Portland ; and his entry into his 
own town, Hallowell, was marked with the ringing of the bells, 
firing of cannon, and patriotic addresses ; flags and streamers were 
displayed from the houses, and among the mottoes the following 
prevailed, " I am no man's man." 

August 22. — The spirit of riot and insubordination 
^°* "* to the laws which lately prevailed in New York has 

made its appearance in the orderly city of Philadel- 
phia, and appears to have been produced by causes equally insig- 
nificant, — hostility to the blacks and an indiscriminate persecution 
of all whose skins were darker than those of their enlightened 
fellow-citizens. A most disgraceful riot also occurred on the night 
of Monday, the nth, at Charlesto\ni, near Boston. The populace 
having been deceived by ill- designing persons into an erroneous 
belief that a young lady was confined against her will in the Ursu- 
line Convent, a highly respectable seminary under the charge of 
the Roman Catholics, made an attack upon the convent, a noble 
edifice near Charlestown, and the other buildings belonging to the 
sisterhood, and burned them to the ground with all the valuable 


furniture, desecrated the cemetery, and committed every species 
of outrage. This act has caused great excitement in Boston. A 
meeting was immediately held in Faneuil Hall, at which the most 
distinguished citizens of all parties attended. Resolutions were 
adopted reprobating in the strongest terms the unworthy conduct 
of their neighbours. The Mayor presided, and all the magistrates 
assisted in the proceedings. Large rewards were offered for the 
apprehension of the persons concerned in the riot. The venerable 
Bishop Fenwick of the Catholic Church succeeded in casting the 
holy oil of his eloquence upon the furious waves which were about 
rising in his excitable congregation, and the consequences were 
less serious than at first apprehended. The active and prompt 
measures which were adopted led to the apprehension of several 
of the ringleaders, who await their trial. 

We had on Sunday last a visit from a party of 
Rockaway. gentlemen in the new steam-brig belonging to Mr. 
Cunard, of Halifax, which lately came out from Eng- 
land. She anchored abreast of the Pavilion, and Messrs. Cunard, 
Cochran, Charles McEvers, Brooks, and Dennistoun came ashore 
in the boat, and landed in the surf. 

Hyde Park, Sunday, Sept. 14. — We left Albany at half-past 
six this morning in the steamboat " Champlain." There is a 
violent opposition between two lines of boats. The fare to New 
York is fifty cents. We were contending with the " Nimrod " all 
the way down, and for five or six miles before we reached Hyde 
Park landing, the boats were in contact, both pushing furiously at 
the top of their speed, and we and our trunks were pitched ashore 
like bundles of hay. The people at the landing being all in favour 
of the opposition, except Dr. Hosack himself, nobody would take 
a line, and we might have drowned without an arm being 
reached to save us. 

September 16. — We left Hyde Park and came on 
At Home. board the " Champion," an opposition boat, at half- 
past twelve o'clock. The " Albany " passed the land- 

112 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 54. 

ing a few minutes in advance, but did not stop. Our boat had 
three or four hundred passengers, and such a set of ragtag and 
bobtail I never saw on board a North-river steamboat — the 
effect of the fifty-cent system. If the people do not rise in their 
might and put a stop to the racing and opposition, it will be better 
to return to the primitive mode of travelling in Albany sloops. I 
would rather consume three or four days in the voyage, than be 
made to fly in fear and trembling, subject to every sort of discom- 
fort, with my life at the mercy of a set of fellows whose only object 
is to drive their competitors off the river. 

October 3. — Party-spirit runs exceedingly high in every part 
of our country. Timid people begin to be afraid of the conse- 
quences of the struggle which is soon to take place, by which the 
question will be determined whether General Jackson, by the aid 
of his interested advisers, can sustain himself in his unconstitu- 
tional assumption of power, and perpetuate it in the election of his 
favourite, the heir presumptive, ]Mr. Van Buren, or whether the 
people, by a great and simultaneous effort, shall burst their 
shackles, rescue the Constitution, and stand once more erect in 
their majesty, free and disenthralled. 

October 4. — The country is on the eve of a great political 
contest. The party in power, consisting of office-holders and their 
dependants, supported by the public moneys over which they have 
usurped the control, and relying upon the personal popularity of 
the President, — impaired certainly, but still exercising an unac- 
countable influence over the minds of the people, — will fight 
hard and take many hard blows before they surrender their power. 
On the other hand, the Whigs are cool, determined, and willing 
to go all lawful and reasonable lengths to bring about a state of 
things more honourable to the country and advantageous to the 
people. This month and the next the elections will take place 
by which this important question will be decided. Pennsylvania 
elects in a few weeks, and our general election in this State 
comes on in November. We have little or no hope of the 


former, but New York looks well, and the Whigs have good hopes 
of success. 

Sunday, Oct. 12. — I went this morning with my daughter to 
the Church du St. Esprit at the corner of Church and Leonard 
streets, the first service since its consecration. The corner-stone 
of the old church in Pine street was laid one hundred and thirty 
years ago. It was originally a Calvinist church, and continued 
so until Mr. Elias Desbrosses, a member of the church, left it a 
rich legacy, on condition of its joining the Protestant Episcopal 
communion, since which it has been Episcopal. 

October 14. — Matthews made his first appear- 
Matthcws. ance last evening at the Park, in his entertainment of 
the " Comic Annual " and " Mons. Morbleu," and was 
well received by one of the greatest houses I have ever seen. 
There was a design to make a row, and a number of disorderly 
fellows collected for that purpose, instigated by placards which 
had been placed during the day on the corners of the streets, 
denouncing Matthews as a libeller of our country and as having 
ridiculed us in one of his pieces performed in England after his 
last visit to America. This ridiculous attempt of some enemy of 
the Park Theatre to excite the bad feelings of a set of disorderly 
young men, who stand ready for any kind of mischief, whether 
it be to attack theatres, desecrate churches, assault Whigs, or 
murder negroes, was met with a determined spirit of opposition 
by a most respectable audience, who received Matthews on his 
return to our stage with such a burst of applause, that the in- 
stigators of mischief had not a chance to put in a single hiss in 
abatement, and the performance went off without interruption. 

October 18. — The election in New Jersey has gone against 
the W^higs, notwithstanding our shouts on the receipt of the first 
returns. All the counties nearest to New York returned large 
Whig majorities, and those were of course first heard from ; but the 
news has been different from that part of the State bordering on 
Pennsylvania, so that the whole result gives something more than 

114 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^tat. 54. 

one thousand majority for the Jackson worshippers. We have 
lost the State, it is said, from the opposition of the Hicksites, 
one of the contending sects of the Quakers with whom that part 
of the State abounds. They have recently been engaged in a law- 
suit with the orthodox party for the possession of certain property 
belonging to the Society of Friends, in which Mr. Frelinghuysen was 
professionally engafed against them. His term in the Senate of the 
United States is about to expire, and the Legislature now elected 
will have the appointment of a successor. Mr. Frelinghuysen 
would have been reappointed if the Whigs had succeeded, and 
these Hicksites, in a spirit unworthy of their professions of meek- 
ness and disregard of worldly politics, have deprived the State 
of the services of one of its most virtuous and enlightened states- 
men, and prevented the success of a party who seek only to 
restore to the country its just rights and preserve the purity of 
our republican institutions. When these people are called upon 
to perform the civil duties required of them in common with other 
citizens, they are restrained by the rules of their order. When 
the country is in danger they cannot fight because their religion 
forbids them to carry arms, and yet, forsooth, they may interfere 
in elections, and bringing their petty squabbles to the polls, 
decide the contest in favour of a party who have no object but to 
strengthen the power of a military ruler, and blindly support his 
arbitrary measures. 

October 23. — The Whig nominating committee agreed last 
evening upon their tickets, but the rank and file out-of-doors 
object to one or two of the nominees for Congress ; not that they 
are not good enough, but too good. The proceedings are to be 
reviewed this evening ; the times are critical ; a tremendous 
stn;ggle is at hand, and most important consequences will result 
from the approaching election, and all personal feelings and predi- 
lections must be sacrificed for the success of our party, which we 
say involves the public good. We must discard all other consider- 
ations, and without committing ourselves to vote for unworthy per- 


sons, run only such as will obtain the most votes. Our folks 
are not so well drilled as their opponents ; they will think for 
themseh^es, not, like them, go straight forward, right or wrong, 
as they are bidden. 

Monday, Oct. 27. — Both parties have been hurrah- 


Triumphs and ing to-day at the top of their voices, — the Whigs for 
Merchants' ^^g victories they have won, and the Jackson men that 


they have lost no more. The latter rallied their forces 
in the upper wards from BrookljTi and all other places where num- 
bers without regard to quality could be obtained, and marched 
them down to Castle Garden, where a feast (not of reason) was 
prepared, and a flow of whiskey (not of soul) was served out gra- 
tuitously to the well-drilled troops of the regency. They fired guns 
and exhibited fireworks, and all in the way of rejoicing for victories 
not won, or rather, " to keep their spirits up by pouring spirits 
down." Among other causes of rejoicing, as set forth in the sum- 
mons to attend, was the triumph of the administration party in 
Ohio ; but, unfortunately, the news of the day seems to leave little 
doubt of the Whigs having gained the election in that great and 
patriotic State ; but the guns, nevertheless, were fired, the whiskey 
drunk, the congratulatory speeches made, and the hurrahs for Ohio 
rent • the air, exactly according to the programme prepared at 
Tammany Hall. 

The merchants had a great meeting at the Exchange, — a great 
Whig meeting in numbers, respectabihty, enthusiasm, and zeal, 
equal to any of those which were held in the same place previous 
to the Spring election, and which led the way then to such encour- 
aging results. There was no falling off there, " my countrymen." 
I was unprepared to speak, but was compelled to go forward by a 
loud and unanimous call from all parts of the room ; but I did not 
regret it, for it was one of the few cases in which I succeeded in 
satisfying myself, and judging by the applause I received I was not 
alone in my opinion. What a comforting thing it is to have a good 
opinion of one's self! 


October 30. — The following gentlemen dined with us : Mr. 
Charles Matthews, George Blake, of Boston, F. G. Halleck, Charles 
A. Davis, Washington Irving, William H. Maxwell, Thomas W. 
Moore, James Monroe, Isaac S. Hone, Henry Hone. Matthews was 
exceedingly agreeable. He did not sing or recite, as he was wont 
to do at dinner-parties, but he talked a great deal and -with great 
enthusiasm, and introduced occasionally some good stories and 
amusing imitations, particularly of Curran, Shiel, O'Connell, and 
other eloquent Irishmen, in order to illustrate the different kinds of 
Irish brogue. He is admirable in his Irish and French characters 
in such a company as we had this evening. His intonations, so 
rich, the versatility of voice to suit his different characters, and the 
admirable expression of his countenance, all tell with powerful 
effect at my round-table, but are spread over too large a surface in 
the theatre, and lost to a large proportion of the audience. He 
complains of this himself. The Adelphi Theatre in London, where 
he performed, is not more than one-third of the size of the Park, 
and he acknowledges the difificulty he has in giving proper effect to 
his good sayings in so large a space and before so numerous an 

October 31. — The Whigs are raising liberty-poles in all the 
wards. I went to one of those ceremonies yesterday in the tenth 
ward, at the corner of the Bowery and Hester street. The pole, 
one hundred feet high, with a splendid cap and gilt vane with suita- 
ble devices, was escorted by a procession of good men and true on 
horseback, and was received at the place of its destination by an 
immense collection of good-looking Whigs, each of whom appeared 
inspired by patriotic feeUngs and a fixed determination to do his 
duty in the approaching contest. I came away before the affair 
was over, finding that it was expected of me to make a speech, 
which would have interfered with my engagements at home. 

November 3. — First day of the great election in the State of 
New York, which is to decide whether the principles of General 
Jackson are approved and ratified by the people, and whether Mr. 


Van Buren is to be his successor ; for these important questions are 
left to the decision of this State, and the test will be the result of 
the election. Both parties here are confident ; but the confidence 
of the Whigs has gained strength daily for the last two or three 
weeks, and our success in Ohio, which is now certain, has conduced 
much to it. 

Tuesday, Nov. 4. — The election continues with spirit. The 
weather is fine, as it was yesterday, and contrary to the apprehen- 
sions of many of our citizens, we have had no riots or serious 
disturbance as yet. This is principally owing to the excellent 
arrangement of the inspectors, a majority of whom, in each ward, 
are Whigs ; to the precautionary measures of the Mayor ; and above 
all to the awe with which the mob have been impressed by the 
determination of the better sort of people of all parties to prevent, 
at all hazards, a repetition of such scenes as disgraced our city in 
the Spring, and more recently and to a greater degree, our neigh- 
bours in Philadelphia. In the course of the evening an immense 
collection of Whigs from Masonic Hall went in a body to Washing- 
ton Hall, where Mr. Webster lodges, and saluted him with cheers ; 
after some time he came out and made them a short and eloquent 

Wednesday, Nov. 5 . — The election closed this evening. The 
Governor's votes were canvassed in all the wards except the sixth, 
and by nine o'clock enough was kno\vn to satisfy us to our heart's 
content that we are beaten, — badly beaten ; worse than the least 
sanguine of us anticipated. The majority in our wards (with the 
exception of the 15th) have fallen off grievously, and theirs have 
increased in an equal ratio ; the third ward has fallen off two hun- 
dred from the Spring election. The Tories will have between two 
and three thousand majority. 

Thursday, Nov. 6. — The triumph was celebrated last night by 
the worshippers of Jackson with the refinement and forbearance 
which might have been expected. I had been taken in the morn- 
ing with an attack of vertigo and headache, which confined me to 

I I 8 THE DIARY OF riilLIP HONE. [yEtat. 54. 

the house nearly the whole day, but I made out to walk up in the 
evening to Masonic Hall, where the news I received was not cal- 
culated to make me feel better. I returned home much indisposed, 
and retired to bed at an early hour, where I was kept awake during 
the greater part of the night by the unmanly insults of the ruffian 
crew from Tammany Hall, who came over to my door every half- 
hour and saluted me with groans and hisses. This continued until 
past three o'clock, and for what? Because I have exercised the 
right which, in common with every American citizen, I enjoy (or 
have enjoyed until this time), of expressing my disapprobation of a 
course of measures which I conceive to be dangerous to the liber- 
ties of the people, and inimical to the free institutions of my native 
land. This I have done with truth, zeal, and firmness, but always, 
I trust, with decorum and propriety ; and for this I have been 
insulted and annoyed. I have for many years sacrificed my com- 
fort, exhausted my time, and abridged my enjoyments by a devo- 
tion to the service of my fellow-citizens. A member of all the 
public institutions, charitable, public- spirited, or patriotic, where 
time was to be lost, labour performed, and no pay to be had ; my 
own affairs neglected, and my money frequently poured out like 
water ; the friend, and patron of the working-men, without regard 
to party ; — and now my reward is found in the revilings of a mob 
of midnight rufiians, among whom, I have no doubt, were some of 
the very men whom I have assisted to support, to the exclusion of 
others who are proud to acknowledge themselves my personal and 
political friends. I believe I am rightly served. 

I dined with Mr. David S. Jones. Mr. Webster was one of the 
party, and notwithstanding the sad disappointment which, in com- 
mon with his political friends (but in a greater degree), he has just 
now experienced, he was in the vein to be exceedingly pleasant, and 
I have not in many a day enjoyed a more delightful conversation. 

November 10. — I apprehend that Mr. Van Buren and his 
friends have no permanent cause of triumph in their victory. They 
have succeeded by the means of instruments which may work 


their owti destruction ; they have mounted a vicious horse, who, 
taking the bit in his mouth, will run away with him. The agrarian 
party, who have had things pretty much their own way, will not stop 
at Martin Van Buren, — they will dig deeper into the swamps of 
political depravity, and the good men of our community, the sup- 
porters of the Constitution, and the true friends of civil liberty may 
be soon called upon to unite in his favour, against a worse man 
and principles more dangerous than his. This battle had been 
fought upon the ground of the poor against the rich, and this un- 
worthy prejudice, this dangerous delusion, has been encouraged by 
the leaders of the triumphant party, and fanned into a flame by 
the polluted breath of the hireling press in their employ. In the 
saturnalian orgies with which our streets have been disgraced, the 
unmannerly epithets which were so liberally bestowed upon myself 
and other peaceable citizens for having exercised the privilege of 
freemen in opposing a party whose political doctrines we thought 
unfavourable to the true interests of the nation, the cry of " Down 
with the aristocracy ! " mingled with the shouts of victory, and must 
have grated on the ears of some of their own leaders like the 
croaking of the evil-boding raven. They have succeeded in raising 
this dangerous spirit, and have gladly availed themselves of its sup- 
port to accomplish a temporary object; but can they allay it at 
pleasure ? Will their voices be heard when they cry " Thus far 
shalt thou go and no farther"? Eighteen thousand men in New 
York have voted for the high-priest of the party whose professed 
design is to bring down the property, the talents, the industry, the 
steady habits of that class which constituted the real strength of 
the Commonwealth, to the common level of the idle, the worth- 
less, and the unenlightened. Look to it, ye men of respectability 
in the Jackson party, are ye not afraid of the weapons ye have 
used in this warfare ? It is idle to plead the necessity of the case, 
the force of what you call regular nominations. How came this 
power so strong among ye? Where was the influence of the 
Aliens and the Bownes, the Bloodgoods and the Alleys, the Phelps 

I20 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [.Etat. 54. 

and the Van Schaicks, when the disciples of this man came among 
ye, and made the walls of old Tammany resound with his appalling 
dictum ? The dose was unpalatable, but you swallowed it. 

NovEMr.F.R 12. — I went to the opera, where I saw the second 
act of " La Slraniera," by Bellini. The house is as pretty as ever, 
and the same faces were seen in the boxes as formerly ; but it is not 
a popular entertainment, and will not be in our day, I fear. The 
opera did not please me. There was too much recitation, and 
I shall never discipline my taste to like common colloquial ex- 
pressions of life, "How do you do, madam?" or, "Pretty well, 
I thank you, sir," the better for being given with an orchestral 

November 13. — There is some salt left in the land, 

Massachu- — ^j^^ ^^^^ general election in Massachusetts has gone 

for the Whigs by unprecedented majorities. Governor 

Davis will be reelected by an immense vote. Abbott Lawrence 

goes to Congress from Boston. 

November 21, — The President, since he came into office in 
1829, has had four secretaries of state, two of war, five of the 
treasury, three of the navy, and three attorney-generals. Tyrants 
are fickle in the choice of servants. 

November 22. — Power had his benefit last night. He appeared 
in Rover, in " Wild Oats," and a piece called " Botheration." It was 
a good house. In the last piece a little row was raised by acci- 
dent. Ritchings, speaking of a lady who wore a wig, says wigs are 
out of date. This touched a sore place, and was received with 
applause by one party in the pit and disapprobation by the other, 
and the clamour became so long and loud that Ritchings was 
under the necessity of coming forward and disclaiming all inten- 
tion of alluding to the political party called Whigs, who, although 
defeated, are not willing to acknowledge themselves " out of date." 

November 24. — The fine old frigate "Constellation" arrived 
at Norfolk on Thursday, in thirty-eight days from Gibraltar, after a 
cruise of several years in the Mediterranean. She was one of the 


three ships built in the year 1797, "Old Ironsides" and the 
" United States " being the other two. She is now commanded by 
my gallant friend, George C. Read. Commodore Patterson, in the 
" Delaware," was on the coast of Syria, and Ballard, in the 
" United States," at Smyrna, giving convoy to American vessels. 
The " Constellation " has brought over two fine marble statues, by 
Louis Persico, emblematical of peace and war, intended to orna- 
ment the Capitol of the United States, accompanied by the artist, 
who has also a bust of the hero. General Jackson, who can regu- 
late both peace and war, and carry the Capitol away in his pocket, 
or set fire to it with his pipe, if he chooses. The "Constellation" 
is ordered around to Washington with these sculptural trophies. I 
would advise the "greatest and best" to have his counterfeit repre- 
sentation set up in one of the high places to receive the homage of 
his liege subjects, a majority of whom are unhappily more willing 
to bow to him or his image than even his own vanity may prompt 
him to exact from them. 

November 29. — The refusal of the French Chamber of Depu- 
ties to vote the supplies necessary to carry into effect Mr. Rives's 
treaty of indemnity for spoliations committed under the reign of 
Napoleon, begins to cause an apprehension that our government 
may find it necessary to pursue a course of hostility to coerce 
France into the performance of obligations freely entered into by 
her, and the stipulations of which on the part of this country have 
been carried into effect with good faith. Congress is to meet on 
Monday, and the expectation of a hostile tone of the President's 
message is so great that the sailing of the Liverpool packet of the 
first of December is delayed until the third, to enable her to carry 
out that document. Restrictions on the trade between this coun- 
try and France would be agreeable news for John Bull. The 
American ladies must have silk dresses to exhibit in Broadway and 
Chestnut street, and if France should be interdicted from supply- 
ing us with the material it would occasion an accelerated motion 
of the shuttles of Spitalfields. It is to be hoped, however, that the 

122 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 54. 

matter may be settled without a serious misunderstanding. Mr. 
Rives's five millions are hardly worth going to war about, unless 
there should be some point of national honour so deeply involved 
as to forbid a calculation of dollars and cents. Louis Philippe does 
not seem to have sufficient power over the Chamber of Deputies. 
He is only a king ; it would be well for him to take advice from 
our President touching the manner of rendering the representatives 
of the people, so called, subservient to his wishes. 

December 3. — Yesterday at noon the President's message was 
communicated to both Houses, and it was in New York at two 
o'clock this morning, having been brought on by express, in little 
more than twelve hours, two hundred and thirty miles. This is a 
great performance, and shows what money can do ; but cui bono ? 
the game is not worth the candle. There is not one reader of the 
daily papers out of a hundred who would give sixpence to read 
this document four hours earlier than he otherwise might, and the 
express in this instance is said to have cost seven hundred dollars. 
The message is, as usual, too long ; but the people have become 
accustomed to take these annual outpourings of executive wet- 
nurses in pretty large doses, and rely more upon the efficacy of a 
bottle of Congress water than on the concentrated virtue of a Seid- 
litz-powder ; and so Dr. Jackson, who can make his patients swallow 
anything, has, by the aid of his regular-bred practitioners in the 
study, and the green-apron boys below, managed to give the body 
politic enough to insure tolerable regularity until his next regular 
visit. This message is interesting principally from the view it 
takes of our relations with France, with whom we have a knotty 
question which may ultimately lead to something serious, and I 
must say that on this subject the message is quite satisfactory ; its 
explanations are clear, its language dignified, and its sentiment 
manly and patriotic. The negotiations of Mr. Rives, for indemni- 
fication for the spoliations of France committed during the reign 
of Napoleon, resulted in a treaty signed at Paris on the 4th of July, 
1 83 1, by which France agreed to liquidate all our claims by the 


payment of twenty-five millions of francs, in six annual payments. 
This treaty was duly ratified in Washington on the 2d of February, 
1832, and acts were passed by Congress to reduce the duties on 
French wines, agreeably to the stipulations on our part, which have 
been continued in good faith. In the mean time the Chamber of 
Deputies delayed from time to time to make the necessary appro- 
priations for carrying the treaty into effect ; the draft of the govern- 
ment for the first annual instalment which was negotiated through 
the Bank of the United States was returned protested, and finally 
the last action of the Chamber of Deputies, in the month of April 
last, nearly three years after the signing of the treaty, resulted in 
their refusal to make the appropriation. And so the matter stands. 
All this is fairly laid down in the message in a manner creditable to 
the President and his Cabinet ; but I do not approve the conclusion 
he comes to. He asks Congress to give him power to issue letters 
of marque and reprisals which cannot fail to be considered by the 
French Government as a menace, and will, I fear, counteract the 
good effects of the firm but courteous style in which our claims for 
justice are set forth in the message, and weaken our cause with the 
lookers-on in other countries. Besides, I am not one of those 
who wish to place power in the hands of the President, and I 
almost wonder that he should have thought it necessary to ask for 
it, after some of his late experiments, which must have satisfied 
him that he may take what power he pleases and the people will 
bear him out in it. The Constitution and the laws may stand in his 
way, to be sure, but those are trifles. Andrew Jackson, depending 
upon his popularity with the Jackson party, is superior to the petty 
trammels which restrained the Washingtons, the Jeffersons, and the 
Madisons of former times. The Jackson party are in the majority. 
They will support him right or wrong, and it was very pretty 
behaved, but altogether supererogatory to ask the leave of Congress, 
to do this or anything else he may think proper. William III. or 
Louis Philippe may require legislative sanction ; they are only kings ; 
give me the president of a republican people for a bold stroke of 

124 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^tat. 54. 

power. General Jackson's coup d'etat would not endanger his 
standing with the people, much less cost him his crown, as it did 
that loving, but less fortunate brother, Charles X. The language 
of the message in relation to the Bank of the United States is dis- 
graceful to the President and humiliating to every American. It 
smells of the kitchen, and resembles no more that in which the for- 
eign relations of the country are laid before the people than a 
scullion does a gentleman. The language is intemperate, the 
charges against the bank false and disingenuous, and the measures 
recommended injurious to the public interest. 

December 6. — Chancellor and Mrs. Kent and some other friends 
took tea with us. They came soon after six o'clock, and we 
passed a most delightful evening. The Chancellor was gay, 
cheerful, and talkative, and not restless as he is wont to be. 
I would " that Heaven had made me such a man." This excel- 
lent man is in his seventy- second year, having been born July 31, 
1763, with his mental faculties unimpaired and still improving, 
by a constant but not laborious employment of them in pursuits 
which constitute his greatest pleasure and recreation. His con- 
stitution sound, the happy result of good habits and a cheerful 
disposition, and the consciousness of purity of heart and uniformly 
virtuous intentions. I do not know so perfect a model as Chan- 
cellor Kent, or a man so much to be envied. I wonder how he 
came in these artificial days to hit upon so sensible a way to 
pass an evening. 

1835-] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 125 



THE new year commences auspiciously so far as the weather 
is concerned. There has never been a finer New Year's 
Day ; the air is clear and pleasant, and just cool enough to pre- 
serve the snow, which gives facility to the visiting part of the 
population. I went out in the sleigh at twelve o'clock, and 
visited until four, leaving several of my visits unpaid, which 
delinquency my wife and I made up in the evening. Ikoad- 
way, from morning until night, and in the night too, was 
crowded with pedestrians, and the music of sleigh-bells was heard 
without the least intermission. Smiling faces were seen on all 
sides, and all the cares and troubles of 1834 appear to have been 
forgotten in the joyful anticipations of 1S35. The year which 
has commenced seems destined to be an eventful one, at home 
and abroad. The administration of General Jackson and the 
continuance of his popularity will test the strength of our 
political institutions. If the people continue to support him in 
his most unwarrantable assumption of power, it will be idle to 
talk about the republican principles on which the government is 
founded. But among other difficulties which he has to encounter 
during the coming year is that of the quarrel with France, in 
which his unnecessary threats have involved us. The king is 
disposed to do us justice ; t^ut the Chamber of Deputies, composed 
of men who like bullying themselves, will not submit to the bully- 
ing of others, and I fear that our government has been committed 
by the President too far to admit of any peaceable compromise.* 
The wisdom of Congress may save us, and it certainly would, if 
party-spirit had not more influence than a regard for the true 
interest of the country. But to the Senate we may yet look for 
patriotism and public virtue, and there we rest our cause. 



Januarys. — Extracts from the commonplace-book 
of this lady (now Mrs. Butler) are published in one 
of the Boston papers and copied occasionally into the 
" Commercial Advertiser " of this city. How they got there it is 
impossible to say. Gary & Lea, of Philadelphia, say in an adver- 
tisement that if they are genuine they must have been stolen, for 
they are the only legal proprietors of the work in this country. At 
any rate, if she has any good feelings, and is at all tenacious of 
her good name as a lady or an authoress, it must be "a sorry 
sight " to see herself thus served up to the public gaze. There is 
all the light gossip, the childish prejudice, the hasty conclusions 
from erroneous first impressions, in which the diary of an imagina- 
tive youthful traveller in a country in which all things are new and 
untried may be supposed to abound ; and the style is sometimes 
bad ; and the remarks she makes on the private habits of persons 
who received her and her father kindly, and treated them hos- 
pitably, are all in bad taste. As a literary production it is unworthy 
of the character of Fanny Kemble, and its publication, now that 
she has become the wife of an American gentleman and is to 
remain among us, injudicious in the extreme. I cannot beheve 
that she ever intended it should see the light, and should be led to 
believe it a fabrication were it not that the facts related are true 
(many of them within my own knowledge), and of a nature to pre- 
clude the possibility of their becoming public without her knowledge 
and consent. For instance, she gives the following account of the 
dinner I gave to her and her father on the 15 th of September, 1832, 
— the first occasion on which she was introduced into American 
society. It was evidently written on the evening of the very day, 
and with all the flippancy and want of reflection that one might 
expect to find in the commonplace-book of a giddy girl who had 
just returned from a dinner-party in which herself was the principal 
object of notice and attention, and from which, I can tell her, she 
went away leaving no very favourable impressions behind her. 
Now, if Mrs. Butler participated in the publication of all this tittle- 


tattle she is a greater fool than ever I expected it would fall to my 
lot to record her. Well was it said, " Oh, that mine enemy would 
write a book ! " IMrs. l>utler says : 

"Saturday, 15th. — At five dressed and went to , where 

we were to dine. This is one of the first houses here " (thank 
you, madam !), "so I conclude that I am to consider what I see as 
a tolerable sample of the ways and manners of being, doing, and 
sttffering of the best society in New York. There were about 
twenty people. The women were in a sort of French demi-toilette, 
with bare necks and long sleeves, heads frizzled out after the very 
last' petit-courier, and thread-net handkerchiefs and capes, the 
whole of which, to my English eye, appeared a strange marrying of 
incongruities. . . . The younger daughter of our host is beautiful, 
— a young and brilliant likeness of Ellen Tree ; with more refine- 
ment, and a smile that was, not to say a ray, but a whole focus of 
sun-rays, — a perfect blaze of light ; she was much taken up with a 
youth, to whom, my neighbour at dinner informed me, she was 

I can excuse many of her impertinences for this glowing and 
just eulogium upon my sweet Mary. The following contrast be- 
tween the delicate and interesting appearance of the ladies and the 
ruddy looks of English women are, unhappily, not far from the 
truth : — 

" The women here, like those of most warm climates, ripen 
very early and decay proportionately soon. They are, generally 
speaking, pretty, with good complexions, and an air of fresh- 
ness and brilliancy, but this, I am told, is very evanescent ; and 
whereas, in England, a woman is in the bloom of health and 
beauty from twenty- five to thirty, here they scarcely reach the first 
period without being faded and looking old. They marry very 
young, and this is another reason why age comes prematurely 
upon them. There was a fair young thing at dinner to-day who 
did not look above seventeen, and she is a wife." (Mrs. Alex- 
ander Hosack, I presume.) " As for their figures, like those of 

128 THE DIARY OF THILIP HONE. [/Etat. 55. 

French women, they were too well dressed for one to judge what 
they really are like ; they are, for the most part, short and slight, 
with remarkably pretty feet and ankles ; but there's too much 
pelerine and petticoat and de quoi of every sort to guess anything 
more. The climate of this country is the scape-goat upon which 
all the ill-looks and ill-health of the ladies is laid ; but while they 
are brought up as effeminately as they are, take as little exercise, 
live in rooms like ovens during the winter, and marry as early as 
they do, it will appear evident that many causes combine with an 
extremely variable climate to sallow their complexions and destroy 
their constitutions." 

Now for the portrait of my friend, Dom. Lynch. " There was a 

ISIr. , the Magnus Apollo of New York, who is a musical 

genius, sings as well as any gentleman need sing, pronounces Ital- 
ian well, and accompanies himself without false chords, all of 
which renders him the man round whom (as round H. G., Lord 
C, and pretty Lord O., in our own country) the women listen and 
languish. He sang the ' Phantom Bark.' The last time I heard 
it was from the lips of Moore, with two of the loveliest faces in all 
the world hanging over him, Mrs. N. and Mrs. B. By the bye, the 
man who sat next to me at dinner was asking me all manner of 
questions about Mrs. N., among others whether she was as ' pale 
as a poetess ought to be.' Oh, how I wish Corinne had heard 
that herself! what a deal of funny scorn would have looked 
beautiful on her rich brown cheek and brilliant lips. The dinner 
was plenteous (that is the word) and tolerably well dressed" 
(Peter Van Dyke ought to make her half z. bow for that compli- 
ment), "but ill- served; there were not half servants enough to do 
the work " (John Stokes is not very ornamental, but tolerably 
useful, and the others are rather smartish, I think, but I have no 
servants in orange-coloured inexpressibles with tinsel epaulettes ; 
when she comes again, I will endeavour to procure a bevy of them 
from Colonel Berkeley, or some other of her distinguished coun- 
trymen), "and we had neither water-glasses" (in this I think she 

1S35] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 1 29 

is mistaken, we are never without them), "nor, oh, horror! that 
absoUite indispensable, — finger-glasses. Now, though I don't eat 
with my fingers (except peaches), whereat, I think, the abo- 
rigines " (oh, for shame, Miss Kemble, to compare Mrs. Davis, 
General Fleming, and Uominick Lynch to wild savages !)," who 
were pealing theirs like so many potatoes, seemed to me rather 
amazed. Yet I do hold a finger-glass, at the conclusion of my din- 
ner, a requisite almost to my digestion. However, as it happened, 
I digested without it." 

With all submission I disagree with my fastidious guest. I 
don't eat with my fingers, and therefore do not require finger- 
glasses. We have them in the house, but do not frequently use 
them. I think it unseemly to see a company at the dinner-table, 
particularly the female part, washing 'their hands, rinsing their 
mouths, rubbing their gums with the finger, anil squirting the pol- 
luted water back into the vessel, as was formerly the fashion in this 
country, a fashion which prevails yet in England in the higher 

"After dinner we had coffee, but no tea, whereat my English 
stomach was in high dudgeon. The gentlemen did not sit long, 

and when they joined us Mr. , as I said before, uttered 

sweet sounds. By the bye, I was not a little amused at Mrs. 

" (my wife takes this to herself), "asking me whether I 

had heard of his singing, or their musical soirees, and seeming all 
but surprised that I had no revelations of either, across the 
Atlantic. Mercy on me ! what fools people are all over the world ! 
the worst is, they are all fools of the same sort, and there is no 
profit whatever in travelling. Mr. B " (Bankhead, the Brit- 
ish secretary of legation), " who is an Englishman, happened to ask 

me if I knew Captain , whereupon we immediately struck 

up a conversation, and talked over English folk and doings 

together, to my entire satisfaction. The were there ; he is a 

brother of that wondrous ruler of the spirits whom I do so dislike 
in London, and his lady is a daughter of Lord ." (These 


are ISIr. and Mrs. Cornwall, and she is welcome to say what she 
pleases of them. We had better folk than they in our party that 
daw) " I was \-cry glad to come home. I sang to them two or 
three things, but the piano was pitched too high for my voice ; 
by the bye, in that large, lofty, fine room they had a tiny, old- 
fashioned, becurtained cabinet piano, stuck right against the wall, 
unto which the singer's face was turned, and into which his voice 
was absorbed." (I'm afraid she is right about the piano. I wish 
she knew that I bought it upon Dr. McLean's recommendation, 
who has some conceit of himself in these matters, and that it cost 
me seven hundred dollars.) " We had hardly regained our inn, 
and uncloaked, when there came a tap at the door, and in walked 

Mr. " (Cornwall again), "to ask me if we would not join 

them, himself and the , at supper ; he said that, besides five 

being a great deal too early to dine, he had not half dinner enough " 
(the Turk ! he ate like an ox), "and then began the regular Eng- 
lish quizzing of everything and everybody we had left behind. Oh, 
dear ! oh, dear ! how thoughtfully English it was, and how it re- 
minded me of H ; of course we did not accept their invitation, 

but it furnished me matter of amusement. How we English folk 
do cling to our own habits, our own views, our own things, our own 
people ; how, in spite of all our wanderings and scatterings over the 
whole face of the earth, like so many Jews, we never lose our dis- 
tinct and national individuality, nor fail to lay hold of one another's 
skirts, to laugh at and depreciate all that differs from that country 
which we delight in forsaking for any and all others." 

January 6. — Mr. Adams delivered on Wednesday last, at the 
Capitol, a eulogy upon the character of Lafayette, to which duty 
he was appointed by a vote of Congress at their last session. It 
is agreed on all hands and by all parties to have been a masterly 
production. It was a subject to call out the fine talents of the 
accomplished scholar and orator, and it was precisely the kind of 
"labour" which Mr. Adams "would delight in." It would appear, 
however, from the following gossip of the " Spy " in Washington 

1835] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 131 

that the " greatest and best " and " New York's favourite son " do 
not consider it good poHcy to bestow unquaHfied praise upon 
the man whom they have heretofore united to pull down : " After 
Mr. Adams had delivered, on Wednesday last, his masterly eulogy 
on General Lafayette, a gentleman asked the President (Mr. Van 
Buren being present) how he was pleased with the address. The 
venerable Christian, pausing a few seconds, coolly replied, ' There 
are some good things in it, but Mr. Adams fails very much ; don't 
you think he does, Mr. Van Buren?' 'Very much,' repeated 

January 10. — The following gentlemen dined with us : Bishop 
Onderdonk, Dr. Hosack, Bishop Smith, of Kentucky ; Mr. Peter 
A. Jay, Mr, Harrison G. Otis, Mr. W. Johnson, Chancellor Kent, 
Mr, D, S, Jones, President Duer, and Mr. P. Schermerhom. 

January 14, — The rage for speculating in lands on Long Island 
is one of the bubbles of the day. Men in moderate circumstances 
have become immensely ricli, merely by the good fortune of own- 
ing farms of a (tw acres of this chosen land. Abraham Schermer- 
hom has sold his farm of one hundred and seventy acres at 
Gowannes, three miles from Brookl>Ti, at $600 per acre ; four 
years ago, having got out of conceit of it as a residence, he 
offered it for sale at $20,000, and would have taken $18,000; to- 
day he pockets $102,000, and regrets that Tie sold it so cheap ! 

February 12. — Died on Saturday last, in Baltimore, Mr. William 
Patterson, in the eighty-third year of his age. He was formerly a 
distinguished merchant of that city, the father of Jerome Bona- 
parte's wife, who was separated from her husband by order of 
Napoleon, who did not think it becoming when he placed a crown 
on his brother's head that his throne and royal honours should be 
shared by the daughter of an American republican. It is not un- 
likely that about these times the ci-devant king of Westphalia 
would have no objection to return to the object of his first love. 
There is a son by this marriage, who married a Miss Williams, a 
handsome girl with a large fortune. They live in Baltimore, in 

132 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [.Etat. 55. 

very good style. I have partaken of the hospitality of this gentle- 
man. It is somewhat remarkable that the three men who held, the 
most distinguished place in the great commvuiity of merchants 
which imparted wealth, splendour, and character to Baltimore have 
all died within about a year, leaving good names and large fortunes 
to their children. Alexander Brown, Robert Oliver, and William 
Patterson might at one time have been considered the royal mer- 
chants of America, as the Medici of old were of Italy. 

February 14. — Dr. Mott's dinner took place on Tuesday last, 
at the City Hotel. Dr. David Hosack presided, and made a good 
speech, which was well replied to by the respectable recipient 
of the compliment. The vice-presidents were Doctors McLean, 
Stearns, MacNeven, A. L. Anderson, S. W. Moore, and Francis. 
The toasts, regular and volunteer, were given in small doses, and 
as the gentlemen of the faculty had to take them themselves, they 
were neither mipalatable nor violent in their operation. They 
toasted each other broiun, and said many pretty things, all 
but Dr. Rhinelander; this gentleman is not in very good odour 
with some of his brethren, from the circumstance of his having 
intrigued with his political friends in the board of regents to get 
Dr. Augustine Smith removed and himself appointed to a profes- 
sor's chair in the College of Physicians. So when his turn came 
to give a toast, he did certainly infuse a dash of wormwood into the 
draught, which the sons of Esculapius had to swallow. Sheridan 
himself would have been gratified at this new application of his 
joke, — " The medical profession, when they all agree, their una- 
nimity is wonderful." By Dr. Gilford : " Dr. Mott, by cutting an 
acquaintance, he often saves a friend." Not so bad. 

I attended this evening a meeting at Washington Hall of a 
number of New Yorkers, with a design to form a regular Knicker- 
bocker society, as a sort of set-off against St. Patrick's, St. George's, 
and more particularly the New England. The meeting was large 
and exceedingly respectable ; there were the Irvings, Moores, Mc- 
Vickars, Renwicks, Rapelje, Stuyvesant, Laight, Fish, ^^'ilkins, the 


Schermerhoms, Brinckerhoffs, Costers, Golden, etc., — a goodly show 
of good fellows who will not disgrace their ancestors. Bloodgood 
was chairman and Washington Irving secretary. A committee was 
appointed, consisting of Peter Schermerhorn, Judge Irving, Alex- 
ander Wyckoff, Hamilton P'ish, Dr. IManley, and the president and 
secretary, to report a constitution and by-laws to a future meeting, 
I suppose we shall have a few annual dinners, which will be pretty 
much all that will grow out of this project. 

February 17. — The proceedings in the Senate of the United 
States have become very interesting within a few days. During the 
discussion of a bill brought forward by Mr. Calhoun to restrain ex- 
ecutive patronage, which has brought out the most virulent opposition 
of the friends of General Jackson, Benton, the fiercest tiger in the 
den, insulted Mr. Calhoun by charging him with falsehood. The 
accomplished Carolinian was compelled to notice it, and Benton 
was called to order. The Vice-President, by some casuistical defi- 
nition of parliamentary practice, pronounced the gentleman not out 
of order. Mr. Webster appealed from this decision, and his ap- 
peal was sustained by a vote of 24 to 20. There is some talk 
about Mr. Calhoun challenging Benton ; but it cannot be. I would 
as soon think of challenging one of the hyenas in the zoological 
institution for snapping at me as I passed his den. 

March 14. — The packet-ship "Rhone" arrived yesterday 
from Havre, bringing Paris accounts to 1 1 th ult. They are highly 
favourable to amicable settlement of our affairs with France. Mr. 
Clay's able report, with the resolution which accompanied it and 
was passed unanimously by the Senate in January last, was received 
in Paris on the 7th of February, and had precisely the effect which 
I predicted. It healed the wounded pride of the French govern- 
ment and people ; it convinced them that the menacing proposal 
to grant letters of marque and reprisal was only the act of the 
President, and would not be sanctioned by the legislature of the 
nation, and there was litde doubt that the Chamber of Deputies 
would pass the Indemnity Bill. Thus has the patriotic majority in 

134 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

the Senate once more interposed to save the country from a 
vexatious and unnecessary war, without the slightest sacrifice 
of national honour, although it is quite likely that Jackson will 
get the credit of it. 

March 16. — The frigate "Constitution," under 
Old Ironsides. Command of Commodore Elliot, got under way 

yesterday morning, and went to sea. She goes to 
France, from which place, if the Indemnity Bill should not have 
been passed, she will receive on board the American Minister 
and his family and return to the United States, but if the bill 
should have become a law she will join the squadron in the 
Mediterranean. Commodore Elliot went on Saturday evening 
to the Bowery Theatre to receive the homage of his suburban 
admirers, and as some opposition was apprehended from those 
who were opposed to the worship of the golden calf, or of 
him who set it up, he was accompanied by a guard of forty 
marines with side-arms ; but it proved unnecessary : not a Whig 
was to be seen, and nothing occurred to mar his triumph, or in- 
terrupt the shouts of those who went to cry. Huzza for Jackson ! 
Huzza for Elliot ! 

I went to the Book Club with Charles King and 
Book Club. Davis at nine o'clock. This is a club which meets 

every other Thursday evening at Washington Hotel, 
where they sup, drink champagne and whiskey punch, talk as well 
as they know how, and run each other good-humouredly. I have 
been admitted a member after having refused several applications, 
for I have already more engagements than I wish ; but this is a 
very pleasant set of fellows. They sit pretty late, however, for I 
came away at one o'clock and left the party seated at the supper- 
table. I don't exactly understand why this is called a Book Club, 
for the book of subscription to the expenses is, I suspect, the only 
one in the library. Our party this evening consisted of about 
twenty ; viz., Davis, President Duer, Charles King, Wilkins, William 
Kent, Harvey, Arthur Barclay, Isaac Hone, Halleck, Ogden 


Hoffman, Patterson, Blunt, Dr. Francis, Baron Behr, Mr. Tre- 
lawny, author of the " Younger Son," Beverly Robinson, etc. 

March 23. — This great work, which is to cost 
ew or an j^-jjjqj^^ yf doUars, was undertaken by a company who 

Erie Railroad. ' j i j 

applied to the present Legislature for a loan of the 
credit of the State to the amount of two millions, to aid in the ac- 
complishment of their undertaking. This application occasioned a 
warm debate ; promises were freely made previous to the late elec- 
tion that the bill should pass, whereby the votes of the middle and 
southern counties were secured to the dominant party, but after a 
severe struggle the question was decided on Friday evening by a 
vote of sixty-one to forty-six. The majority may have had good 
reasons, for aught I know, but it is understood that the most pre- 
vailing one was that James G. King was one of the leading men in 
the enterprise, and he is a Whig ; liberal he certainly is, and pub- 
lic-spirited and enlightened, but he is a Whig, and does not wear 
the Jackson collar, and it was exceedingly simple in the projectors 
of this great work to ask favours of the present Legislature with such 
an encumbrance ; if the State-House was on fire they would not 
allow it to be extinguished by a Whig fireman. I wonder the 
statesmen at Albany do not pass a law to deprive all but Jackson 
men of the privilege of voting at elections, or holding real estate, 
and making it treason for the butchers and bakers to sell them 
meat and bread. 

ALvRCH 28. — Mr. and Mrs. Webster arrived in town last evening 
from Philadelphia. He is going home to Boston on Wednesday, 
and she will remain here with her friends for a week or two. Mr. 
Webster came this evening and drank tea with us, and delighted us 
for an hour with his conversation. He talked about trout-fishing, 
Plymouth, Cape Cod, and Nantucket, and his eloquence made 
those trifling subjects interesting as those of more serious import, 
which it so ably illustrates and adorns. He and I agreed to make 
an excursion together in the month of June next, from Boston to 
New Bedford and Nantucket, in which I promise myself great 

136 THE DIARY OF TIIILIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

pleasure. Mr. Webster's description of that part of the State of 
Massachusetts ; the primitive manners of the people of Nantucket ; 
the homogeneous nature of the institutions and social customs, and 
the isolated pride of their sea-girt territory, — has awakened in me a 
curiosity which will be gratified in this proposed excursion, and I 
shall enjoy in perfection the delightful society of a man who, in 
his hours of relaxation, is playful and agreeable as he is great in 
the discharge of his public duties. 

April 2. — I dined with Mr. Abraham Ogden. We had a very 
pleasant dinner. Mr. Webster was there, and Mr. H. G. Otis, and 
Meredith. The great senator has been more uniformly cheerful 
during his present visit than I have ever seen him, and he is, when 
" in the vein," one of the best talkers in the world. Mr. Otis, 
when the tyrant of the limbs allows him to dine out, is always a 
most delightful companion ; his voice is perfect music, his choice of 
words scrupulously nice, and talent gives a charm to his narrative, 
which makes his hearers regret that his longest stories should ever 
come to an end. He appears to me sometimes a little pedantic 
and too studious of effect, but no man of taste and feeling can 
listen to him during the social hours of a dinner-party without im- 
provement and delight. My friend Meredith is also an excellent 
diner-out, of a more joyous temperament than either of the above- 
named persons. He laughs louder, and his flashes, if not brighter, 
are sharper. He is a fine scholar, a good dramatic critic, and 
Shakesperian to the very letter. He was to have gone with me to 
the reading club this evening, but was not very well, and had to 
make preparation for his departure to-morrow morning. 

April 8. — The political aspect of the country is worse than 
ever : " In the lowest depth, a lower still is found." General Jack- 
son's star is still in the ascendant, and shines brighter than ever ; 
the returns of the election in Connecticut, which was held last 
week, prove, as far as they have been received, that his party have 
succeeded in that Yankee State. Our charter election comes on 
next week, and I presume we shall be beaten. The Jackson people 


have rencminated Mr. Cornelius W. Lawrence as Mayor, and the 
Whigs will not oppose him, I am glad of it, for if we do not take 
him we shall have a worse man ; indeed, I have been well pleased 
with his conduct during the first year of his mayoralty, and he 
would have had my cheerful support but for the circumstance of 
his having recently vetoed a resolution of the Common Council 
which recommended to the Legislature the passage of a law to reg- 
ister the votes. This is a measure so obviously proper to secure 
the purity of our elections, and so loudly called for, especially in 
this city, by all who desire to preserve the peace and good order 
which ought to prevail at such times, that nothing but a blind de- 
votion to party could have influenced the Mayor in his opposition 
to a measure so salutary. I hoped better things from that gentle- 
man. Notwithstanding this untoward state of political affairs, the 
country generally is in a prosperous state, and the city of New 
York peculiarly so. All descriptions of property are higher than I 
have ever known them. Money is plenty ; business brisk ; the 
staple commodity of the country (cotton) has enriched all through 
whose hands it has passed. The merchant, mechanic, and propri- 
etor all rejoice in the result of the last year's operations. 

April 10. — The weather being fine and spring-like, I walked for 
an hour before dinner with my wife on the Battery. Strange as it 
is, I do not think that either of us had done such a thing in the 
last seven years ; and what a beautiful spot it is ! The grounds are 
in fine order ; the noble bay, with the opposite shores of New 
Jersey, Staten and Long Islands, vessels of every description, 
from the noble, well-appointed Liverpool packet to the little 
market craft, and steamers arriving from every point, give life 
and animation to a prospect unexcelled by any city view in 
the world. It would be worth travelling one hundred miles 
out of one's way in a foreign country to get a sight of, and yet 
we citizens of New York, who have it all under our noses, seldom 
enjoy it. Like all other enjoyments, it loses its value from being 
too easily obtained. 

138 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^Etat. 55. 

I have passed a few hours deUghtfully in reading 
e rayon -Wa^giiinorton Irving's " Tour on the Prairies." It is of 

Miscellany. ° ° 

the very best kind of light reading ; like the violet of 
the spring, it exhales a refreshing mental fragrance, which soon 
passes away and leaves the mind conscious only that it was some- 
thing very sweet. The charm of the book is the easy, graceful 
manner of describing the events of a tour of great interest, cer- 
tainly to such persons as Ellsworth, Irving, and Latrobe, because 
such people seldom undertake expeditions of the kind. Killing 
buffaloes, hunting wild horses, sleeping every night on the ground 
for a whole month, and depending from day to day for the means 
of subsistence on the deer, wild turkeys, and bears which the rifles 
of their own party alone can procure, — all events of ordinary occur- 
rence to the settlers of the great West, but matters of thrilling 
interest to comfortable citizens who read of them in their green 
slippers, seated before a shining grate, the neatly printed page 
illuminated by a bronze astral lamp ; or to the sensitive young lady 
who, drawing up her delicate little feet on the crimson damask sofa, 
shudders at the hardships which the adventurous tourist has under- 
gone, "and loves him for the dangers he has passed." The intro- 
duction to this little bijou affords the author the first opportunity 
he has had since his return from Europe to speak of himself, his 
success abroad, the doubts which filled his mind as to the un- 
changed affection of his countrymen, and to the removal of those 
doubts, and the overflowing of his heart by the kind reception 
which awaited him on his arrival. 

April 23. — Francis B. Cutting and Robert Bayard bought 
two or three years ago the country-place, as it then was, of the 
late William Bayard, for a sum between ^50,000 and ^60,000 
(a great price at that time), and sold it at auction in lots the day 
before yesterday for $225,000. David S. Jones sold yesterday 
at auction, in lots, the former country-seat of Mr. Harrison, which 
he bought about two years since, and made a profit of $85,000. 
Real estate is high, beyond all the calculation of the most san- 


guine speculators. Immense fortunes have been made and real- 
ized within the last three months, and everything is dear but 
money. There must come a change ; and when it does, woe to 
those who are caught ! This distribution of property, however, 
by small lots, will divide the losses when the e\-il day comes, and 
they will not be felt in the same degree by any, as the profits are 
now by a few. 

April 24. — A great foot-race, which has occupied the mind of 
the fancy for several months past, took place this day on the 
Union Race Course, Long Island. It originated in a large bet 
between John C. Stevens and Samuel L. Gouverneur, that the 
former would produce by a given time a man who should run ten 
miles within an hour, for which he offered a reward of one thou- 
sand dollars, and three hundred more if it was performed by one 
only. This was the day fixed for the exploit, and without intend- 
ing it by any means, when I arose this morning I found myself, 
with Robert, in the barouche, enveloped in clouds of dust, and our 
faces lacerated by a north-west wind which came loaded, not with 
ambrosial sweets, but with a sort of concentration of razor-blades, 
on the road to the race-course, jostled by every description of 
vehicle, conveying every description of people. The crowd on the 
ground was as great, I think, as at the famous Eclipse race, and 
immense sums were betted by men who find it difficult to pay their 
honest debts, and by hopeful boys, who have to square the amount 
of their losses from the reluctant pockets of fathers who, had they 
been thriftless and improvident as their progeny, would have 
brought them up to qualify them for holding the horses which they 
now proudly drive. 

At one o'clock nine men started for the prize. They all came 
around the first three miles, each within six minutes, and the first 
five miles were performed by five of the number within half an 
hour. They then began to give in, and three only ran the whole 
ten miles. One man alone won the race, performing the ten miles 
in fifty-nine minutes forty-eight seconds. His name is Henry 

140 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

Stannard, a farmer, aged twenty-four years, born in Killingworth, 
Conn., tall and thin, weighing one hundred and sixty-five pounds. 
He appeared to me exactly of the size and form for such an under- 
taking, with much bone and muscle and very little fat. He was not 
distressed by his effort, made a speech to the populace, who cheered 
him with loud applause, sprang upon a horse and rode around the 
course on which he had gained his laurels. 

April 25. — A man named Clayton made an ascen- 
Baiiooning. sion a fcw days since from Cincinnati in a style of ad- 
venture more splendid than any hitherto attempted. 
He gave notice that he meant to remain in the air as long as his 
supply of gas continued. He started at five o'clock P.M., went to 
sleep at a good regular hour in his car, travelled four hundred 
miles, made fast his balloon at two o'clock to the top of a tree on 
one of the mountains of Virginia, and then returned leisurely home 
to relate his adventures. We run faster, sail smarter, dive deeper, 
and fly farther than any other people on the face of the earth. 

April 30. — The following gentlemen dined with us: Mr. 
Armour, Dom. Lynch, Washington Irving, Robert Ray, Peter 
Schermerhorn, Jonathan Goodhue, G. G. Howland, James G. 
King, and Isaac Hone. 

The return of May brings with it its usual accompaniment of 
pulling down and altering houses. The streets are beginning to be 
filled with rubbish, and to increase the troubles of our locomotive 
citizens a new easterly storm is setting in, in which beds and book- 
cases, chairs, carpets, and crockery, will be exposed to damage. 

The rise of lots in the upper part of the city goes on without 
interruption from any cause, foreign or domestic. Mr. Kane has 
sold his large house, corner of St. Mark's place and the Second 
avenue, to Charles Graham, for ^35,000. He called this morning 
to offer it to me for the last time, before he closed the sale ; but I 
do not want it, nor indeed would I consent to remove to any other 
situation, unless I was compelled to do so, by selling my house in 
Broadway. Mr. Boardman offered me, about two months since, the 


price I asked for my house, $55,000 ; but I was to take in part pay- 
ment seven lots of ground on the Second avenue, below St. Mark's 
place, at a valuation of $35,000. This I declined, for I could not 
imagine then, nor can I now, that they are worth so much money. 
He has, however, sold them since for $38,000, and the speculators 
say they are a bargain. 

May 12. — I went this morning to the Exhibition at 
1 a lona Clinton Hall. There is a manifest improvement in the 

Academy. '■ 

works of several of our old favourite artists. Ingham 
has some splendid portraits ; Durand has several very good, three in 
particular, of President Jackson, Mr. Adams, and Charles A. Davis, 
are admirable. Inman has several fine paintings, the best the 
"Bride of Lammermoor," which he painted for a Southern gentle- 
man ; and Mount has three pictures which would do credit to 
Wilkie. Weir has, as usual, some good pictures, but his last does 
not please me. It is a picture painted for Mr. Verplanck ; the 
subject is "The Landing of Hendrick Hudson." 

May 18. — Yesterday was a pleasant day, the first, I think, this 
spring, and being Sunday the streets presented a gay and cheerful 
appearance. The ladies' new French hats and the gentlemen's 
white pantaloons were exhibited with impunity from staining shower 
or biting blast, and the air was redolent of the tender grass and 
opening lilacs. During the day and evening the fire-engines were 
exercised by the boys with their accustomed alacrity, and a few 
houses here and there in the upper part of the city were burned for 
their especial gratification. 

May 21. — How beautifully expressive are the Indian 
Indian Names, proper namcs ! Comprehensive in meaning, as they are 

lofty and musical in sound. I honour the towns, the 
rivers, and the mountains to which the good taste and patriotic 
feeling have left the names by which the sons of the forest desig- 
nated them before the white man became their proprietor, much 
more than I do the Baths, the Bristols, the Frankforts, and the 
Orleans, for which we are indebted to the exhausted gazetteers of 

142 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

Europe ; or even the Homers, the Virgils, the Solons, or the Man- 
lius, albeit they have been raked up from the ashes of classical 
lore. Our lakes and rivers have been less despoiled of their origi- 
nal Indian designations than the towns which they irrigate and 
beautify, and they differ as much in name as they do in grandeur 
from those of Europe. What can be more expressive than " Alle- 
ghany," clear water ; " Ohio," most beautiful of rivers ; " Connect- 
icut," long river; " Winnipiseogee," the smile of the Great Spirit; 
" Canandaigua," place of rest, etc. ! Such words as Ontario, 
Onondaga, Tallahassee, and Michigan are full of poetry as of mag- 
nificence, and the spirit of the American people should guard them 
with as much jealousy from the innovations of European refine- 
ment as they would the hardy maxims of their republican insti- 
tutions from the insults of courtly forms of government or the 
errors of modem philosophy. 

May 22. — The Jackson Convention, convened by 
Baltimore orders from Washington to nominate Mr. Van Buren 

Convention. ° 

for the presidency, assembled at Baltimore on Wednes- 
day, and appointed Andrew Stevenson, late Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, and rejected Minister to England, to preside 
over them. No other business was done on Wednesday ; there are 
some difficulties in the way, such as a double set of delegates from 
Pennsylvania, true-blue both, but hating each other nearly as much 
as they do honesty and the Whigs, and a little insubordination about 
the choice of Vice-President. Mr. Rives and Richard M. Johnson 
have each friends in the convention, who will at first make a little 
show in support of their respective candidate, but will soon fall into 
the ranks of " passive obedience and non-resistance," and ratify 
unanimously the edict which has gone forth from Washington and 
been countersigned at Albany. So "God help the people " ! This 
farce is over, and their deliberations have terminated as was pre- 
viously arranged. On Friday the convention proceeded to the 
nomination of candidates for the offices of President and Vice- 
President of the United States. Martin Van Buren was unanimously 


nominated as President, and Richard M. Johnson was nominated as 
Vice-President by the following vote : for Richard M. Johnson, 
178 ; for William C. Rives, 87. 

May 26. — The packet-ship "Napoleon" arrived yes- 
French xcws. terday from Liverpool, bringing news to the 25 th of 
April. The Indemnity Bill passed the French Chamber 
of Deputies on the iSth by a larger majority than was anticipated. 
The whole amount of 25,000,000 francs, with interest from the date 
of the treaty, was agreed to be paid. The Ministers assented to 
the introduction of a clause in the bill forbidding the payment of 
the money until after the French Government shall have received 
satisfactory explanations with regard to the President's message of 
Dec. 2, 1834. 

What will " Old Hickory " say to this? Apologize? He cer- 
tainly will not, for his flatterers have told him and told the people, 
and they all believe it, that his firmness, his vigour, his dare-deviltry 
have extorted from the fears of the French that which we should 
never have gained from their justice, but la grande 7iation will be 
satisfied with a few unmeaning words : "Our old allies," "Our faith- 
ful friends," "The compatriots of our Lafayette;" they cannot 
suppose, not they, that any affront was intended, etc., etc., and so 
the matter will be settled : the louis will jingle in our pockets, Jack- 
son will get all the credit for the success of a negotiation which his 
arrogance had well-nigh defeated, the " Hurrah for Jackson ! " on our 
shores will be responded on those of France by " Vive Louis Phi- 
lippe ! " saltpetre will be used only for the peaceful purpose of curing 
hams, and the star-spangled banner will wave as heretofore over 
cargoes of cotton and potashes, or serve to give an impulse to 
the Fourth-of-July celebrations of General Morton's division of 

May 27. — I went last evening to a grand supper at Washington 
Hall, given by the members of the Book Club to the Rev. Dr. Wain- 
wright, who is considered the founder of the club. The party was 
larger than usual, and comprised several of the elite of the city. 

144 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^Etat. 55. 

There were President Duer, Dr. Wainwright, Dr. Jarvis, Henry 
Brevoort, Colonel White, of Florida, General Scott, Joseph Blunt, 
Charles King, Ogden Hoffman, John Duer, Jacob Harvey, Arthur 
Barclay, James J. Jones, Dr. Francis, Beverly Robinson, Charles A. 
Davis, Dr. A. E, Hosack, Isaac S. Hone, P. Hone, Washington 
Irving, M. C. Patterson, and two or three more whom I do not 

June i. — All the world (our world) is going to Europe. The 
packet-ship " Europe " sailed this morning for Liverpool with 
thirty- five passengers ; among the number were Professor Ticknor 
and family, of Boston, and Lord Powerscourt, who has been travel- 
ling in the United States. His friend and companion, Mr. Parnell, 
remains behind, having been married yesterday in Grace Church to 
Miss Delia Stewart, daughter of Commodore Stewart. He will follow 
in a short time, and take his Yankee bride with him to Ireland. 

June 17. — The Boston and Providence Railroad is completed 
except a viaduct, and the passengers by the New York steamboats 
were carried over for the first time one day last week. The time 
was two hours and a half, and the Lexington steamboat goes from 
New York to Providence in twelve hours, so that leaving this city 
at six in the morning travellers can unstrap their trunks at their 
lodgings in Boston by daylight on a summer's day. 

June 23. — The U.S. frigate "Constitution" ar- 
oid Ironsides, rived yesterday afternoon, having on board Mr. 
Livingston, our late Minister to France, and his 
family. Mr. Livingston comes back in a bad humour, and it is 
much to be feared that he may infuse some of it into the mind of 
the obstinate and weak old man at the head of our government,- 
and so prevent an amicable arrangement of the difficulty with 
France, — a consummation devoutly to be dreaded, if it should lead 
to war. The only hope is that Mr. Van Buren's influence will be 
stronger in that quarter than that of the Minister, and that his 
chance of a succession to the presidency may be promoted by 
keeping the peace. 


We saw the noble ship " Constitution " plainly from Rockaway 
yesterday afternoon, under a full spread of canvas, on her way up 
to the city. She sailed from Havre on the 5 th, and from Plymouth 
England, on the i6th ult. I do not think much of her commander, 
have little respect for the effigy on her bow or the manner of its 
being placed there, and am not exceedingly proud of the country's 
representative which she now bears in her bosom ; but I love her 
for her name, and honour her for the share she has had in the pres- 
ervation of her country's glory. She is still " Old Ironsides." 

Wednesday, July i . — On Saturday evening last, during a 
severe gale in Baltimore, Mr. Marshall, son of the Chief Justice, 
having taken shelter in a building partially destroyed by fire, was 
killed by the falling of a chimney. He had just arrived from 
Philadelphia, where he had been to visit his venerable father. 
There is great reason to apprehend that the shock of this calamity, 
added to his bad state of health, will prove too much for this most 
excellent of men. I know of no greater misfortune which our 
country could sustain at this time than the death of Chief Justice 
Marshall. He is the sheet-anchor of the Constitution ; pure, 
enlightened, and patriotic ; the loss of such a man would be a 
national calamity at any time, but it is a fearful thing to think of 
his place being filled by a man who is willing to sacrifice everything 
we hold sacred to the gratification of his personal feelings and the 
aggrandizement of his party. 

July 4. — I dined with the honourable the Corporation. These 
dinners are never very refined nor very intellectual, but this was even 
less so than usual. The constituents of the members, who, like 
some of themselves, are rather queer sort of folk, must be invited, 
and as the dinner and diners are abundant, they feed enor- 
mously, and, in utter disregard of the good temperance rules so 
much in fashion, lay in large stores of present hilarity and future 
headache, and, as in duty bound, they pay for their share of the 
municipal banquet by lauding their liberal entertainers, and shout- 
ing, at the top of their excited voices, " Huzza ! " to all their party 

146 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 55. 

sentiments, no matter how violent or unreasonable. The Presi- 
dent's health was received with all the fire and vivacity which 
brandy or champagne can inspire, but the great burst of feeling 
was reserved for New York's favourite son, " the Vice-President." 
The " three times three " which succeeded the announcement of 
this toast made the very cupola on the top of the hall tremble 
over our heads ; the deep-toned bell which is suspended under the 
queer-looking canopy, like a toad under some enormous mush- 
room, to utter the sounds of fearful vibrations, and the four-and- 
twenty pounders of " Old Ironsides," which were at the same 
moment keeping 4th of July on the North river, could scarcely be 
heard in the patriotic din which spontaneously burst forth to waft 
the glorious sentiment to the responsive heavens. There, I am 
sure the " Times " cannot make more of the toast than I have 
done. I sat at the table on the right hand of the INIayor, between 
Commodore Elliot and Govemour Troup. A chair was left in the 
place of honour on the immediate right of the Mayor for Mr. Liv- 
ingston, who was so ill that he could not attend the dinner ; but the 
place was pertinaciously kept by the Commodore, who is a great 
glorifier of President Jackson and all that appertains to him, and 
when the cloth was removed and the champagne, like a poker, had 
begun to stir up the latent flame of patriotism in the bosoms of the 
faithful, the name of the Minister was announced, and he was led 
up with all due formality to the vacant chair. This was the signal 
for three glorification cheers, which he would not have gotten in a 
regular way. His health was given ; he made a speech ; all his actions, 
past, present, to come, were fully approved, and " No explanation," 
"No apology," resounded through the room, and divided the 
echoes of the spacious dome with the equally inspiring shouts of 
" Hurrah for Jackson ! " and success to the nominee of the Balti- 
more Convention. This may all have been accidental, but it 
appeared to me exceedingly like management. It was passing 
strange that a person should be too ill to go out to dinner at five 
o'clock, but able to calculate his recovery with so much nicety that 


a chair should be kept for huTi to occupy at seven. I crossed the 
path of the glorification toasts with the following sentiment, out of 
place, to be sure, but they dared not express any disapprobation, — 
" John ]\Iarshall : may his valuable life be spared to his country, 
while his mental and physical faculties remain, to elucidate and to 
defend the Constitution." 

Deaihof J^-^^ ^' — '^^^ calamity which has for some time 

Chief Justice past threatened our country has happened at last, and 
every man who admires talents and venerates virtue 
mourns over the loss we have sustained. John Marshall, the wise, 
the virtuous, the patriotic, died on the afternoon of Monday the 
6th inst., at six o'clock, in Philadelphia, in which city he has been 
for some time, to avail himself of the best medical advice. Take 
the Chief Justice for all in all, he combined in his character more 
good and great qualities than any other man in the United States 
during his or any other time, with the exception of his friend and 
associate, Washington ; and his death at this time is a greater 
national calamity than Washington's was when it occurred, for 
reasons which I have stated at a former page of this journal, in 
noticing the melancholy death of his son at Baltimore. Would it 
had pleased Divine Providence to delay the stroke for a few years ! 
Less danger would be apprehended if the successor of General 
Jackson had had the filling of this most important office, even if 
that successor were (as it most probably will be) Mr. Van Buren. 
He will be governed less by personal predilections, and if he has 
no more virtue than the present incumbent, he has more policy and 
less reliance upon his own infallibility. At any rate, I would rather 
trust him. 

In 1797 IVIarshall was appointed by President Adams, with 
General Pinckney and Elbridge Gerry, to negotiate with the French 
Directory. They were not received by the French, and it was in 
this embassy that the famous X. Y. Z. correspondence was instituted, 
in which the envoys were invited to bribe the Directory as the 
means of obtaining justice for this country. It was this infamous 


proposal which gave rise to the celebrated expression so frequently 
quoted, "Millions for defence, not a cent for tribute." In 1799 
he was elected and took his seat in Congress. Here his talents 
became immediately so conspicuous that in 1800 he was ap- 
pointed Secretary of War, and on the 31st of January, iSoi, 
he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, which distinguished position he continued to fill with 
unsullied dignity and preeminent ability until the close of his 
mortal career. All newspapers are, as they ought to be, clad in 

July 10. — Charles King gave me, on board the steamboat, yes- 
terday morning the " Evening Post " to read an infamous editorial 
notice of the death of Chief Justice Marshall. They say he was a 
man of considerable talents ! but an enemy to Democratic princi- 
ples, and used his influence in the court over which he presided to 
subvert them, and on the whole his removal is a cause of rejoicing. 
This is absolutely a species of impiety for which I want words to 
express my abhorrence. It is of a piece with Duane's celebrated 
article published in the " Aurora " on the death of Washington, 
beginning with the scriptural quotation, " Lord, now lettest thou 
thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salva- 
tion ; " and the painful recollection of these two great national 
bereavements will ever be accompanied in the minds of all good 
Americans by their detestation of the sentiments of the two com- 
peers in infamy, who have thus acquired a most unenviable notori- 
ety. The " Times," another of our Jackson papers, on the other 
hand, has noticed the Chief Justice's death in the most feeling man- 
ner, and consecrated his m.emory by eulogiums which none but a 
fool would deny, or a knave withhold. 

July 18. — The papers contain a report that the President has 
appointed Roger B. Taney Chief Justice of the United States in 
the place of the lamented John Marshall. Mr. Taney is a lawyer 
of high reputation, and except in his slavish devotion to General 
Jackson and his party, which led him during his short career as 


Secretary of the Treasury to perform an act of subsen-iency which 
must " damn him to everlasting fame," he was ahvays esteemed 
a respectable man. The act alluded to, the acceptance of office 
solely to do the President's dirty work of removing the deposits, 
was sufficient to entitle him to this or any other office in his gift ; 
and as none but a person possessing that sort of qualification would 
be appointed, it is fortunate, on the whole, that the ermine has not 
fallen upon less worthy shoulders. If this appointment has been 
made, and Mr. Van Buren should be elected President (of which I 
think there is very little doubt), the remarkable fact will be dis- 
closed of the two most exalted offices in the country being held by 
individuals whose nominations for other offices of greatly inferior 
importance have been rejected by the Senate. 

Buffalo, Tuesday, July 21. — We arrived here in the canal-boat 
at three o'clock this afternoon. The boat was not crowded, the 
weather was cool and pleasant, the accommodations good, the cap- 
tain polite, our fellow-passengers well-behaved, and altogether I do 
not remember to ha\^ ever had so pleasant a ride on the canal. 
ISIy hammock, to be sure, was rather narrow and not very soft, and 
my neighbour overhead packed close upon my stomach ; but I slept 
sound as a ploughman, and did not wake until tapped on the shoul- 
ders by the boy, and told to " clear out." 

July 29. — At the moment of my arrival I found 
Saratoga ^j^^ j^^.^^ dresscd for a ball at Congress Hall and 

Springs. ^ 

just entering the room. At the solicitations of some of 
my fair friends, whose solicitations are a matter not to be dis- 
regarded, I went down to look at the gay assemblage. There is a 
large company at Congress Hall, but not many New Yorkers. The 
Patroon and old Mrs. Philip Van Rensselaer, Mrs. Wilkins, Mr. 
and Mrs. Henry Phelps, Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. James 
AV. Otis, Mr. and Mrs. Post, lately married (she was Miss Church) ; 
Mrs. Otis's sister, another newly married couple j Mr. and Mrs. 
Rupert Cochran, Mr. and Mrs. DePau, Mr. and Mrs. Washington 
Coster, Giraud, McLean, Buckland, McLeod, Laight, Pringle, 


Edward Heckscher, Governor Wolf, of Pennsylvania, and many 
others, as Lord Duberly says, " too tedious to enumerate." 

August 2. — A terrible system prevails in some of 
Lynch's Law. the Southem and "Western States of late, which con- 
sists in the people taking the law in their own hands 
and inflicting summary punishment upon persons who have made 
themselves obnoxious to their high mightinesses, beating, tarring and 
feathering, and in some cases hanging the unhappy object of their 
vengeance, and this is generally called " Lynch's law." At Vicks- 
burg, in the State of Mississippi, from the 6th to the loth of July, 
scenes were enacted which are calculated to make humanity 
shudder, and to bring disgrace upon the country. The same 
inflammable spirit in our part of the country has caused excitement 
and tumult in a less dangerous degree. Finding more combustible 
matter in the South and West, it has kindled a flame which may in 
time endanger the safety of our institutions throughout the' Union. 
There is an awful tendency toward insubordination and contempt 
of the laws, and there is reason to apprehend that good order and 
moraUty will ere long be overcome by intemperance and violence, 
and " Lynch's law " be made a substitute for written law and the 
regular administration of public justice. God forbid that the fair 
inheritance of our fathers should be laid prostrate by the lawless 
hands of their degenerate sons, in this early stage of its existence ! 
As for me, I have no desire to be ruled by the maxim of govern- 
ment so fashionable in the extreme south and west part of our 
country, and I say, give us no more Tennessee presidents. 

August 3. — The prices of property in and about 
Real Estate, this city and BrookljTi keep up astonishingly ; un- 
improved lots on this island are higher than ever- 
Several great sales have been made at auction during my absence, 
but I think the greatest is the property of the late Mrs. Ann 
Rogers, which goes principally, I believe, to her grandchildren, the 
children of her daughter, INIrs. Heyward. It consisted of her 
proportion of the Rose Hill estate left by her first husband, 


Nicliolas Cruger, and the country-seat at Bloomingdale, about six 
miles from the city, on the banks of the Hudson river. The 
amount of the sales of these two pieces of property was $688,310. 
Fifteen years ago they would not have brought $40,000. The 
money goes into good hands. 

August 4. — Charles Matthews, the comedian, died 
-.^ ° in England, on the 29th of June, of an ossification of 

the heart. His health was bad during his last visit to 
the United States, and he had a dangerous fit of illness while in 
Boston. He dined with me once during that visit, was very agree- 
able, but not the man he was when here before. Even while 
amusing the public by his ludicrous performances on the stage, he 
was moody, fretful, and dissatisfied, and left the country for the last 
time in a very bad humour. Few men of the present age have 
contributed so much to the amusement of others, but in his best 
days he was subject to fits of discontent and lowness of spirits, 
and I have seen him at my own table delighting and surprising the 
company with stories, songs, and imitations, himself the only person 
whose heart was not light and joyous by the merriment he caused. 
The following distinguished gentlemen have been 
M-'i'r'shaii''" appointed and have consented to pronounce eulogiums 
upon the character and services of the late illustrious 
Chief Justice : Judge Story, of the Supreme Court of the United 
States ; Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts ; James Kent, of New 
York ; Horace Binney, of Philadelphia ; and Walter Jones, of 

RocKA WAV, Thursday, Aug. 6. — We left home this afternoon 
in the Rockaway omnibus, with Miss Lydia Kane. Mr. Nicholson 
drove Miss Helen Kane. 

The house is not so full as it ought to be, but the company is 
exceedingly agreeable. Mr. and Mrs. R. Bayard ; Mrs. Carroll ; 
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson _ (Mrs. Carroll's other daughter) ; t-tvo 
beautiful INIisses Willing, daughters of Richard Willing, of Phila- 
delphia ; Dr. and Mrs. McAuley, of Baltimore ; Mrs. Davis ; Miss 
E. Callender : and an excellent lot of beaux. 

152 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

August 7. — The weather is delightful this morning, and we have 
had a day of amusement and pleasure. It was the birthday of Miss 
Elizabeth Willing, one of the handsomest and loveliest girls I ever 
saw. Count Streliski, who is chief manager and the best beau at 
the Pavilion, issued a programme of the amusements, which con- 
sisted of a trotting match, a champagne dinner, birthday ode, ball, 
and supper. The trotting match took place at ten o'clock, on the 
beach, and the company from all the houses assembled to witness 
it. Three one-mile heats were trotted. The race was won by 
Robert Goelet, who was regularly invested by the queen of the day 
on the ground with the prize, which was a beautiful embroidered 
scarf. This part of the day's sport went off well and afforded much 
pleasure. At the dinner, toasts and speeches in honour of the occa- 
sion went their jocund round. The ball in the evening was 
unusually splendid, for there never were a dozen handsomer girls 
assembled in one cotillion. A part of the arrangement consisted 
in my promising a birthday ode, which was set to music by Kendal 
and sung with great effect by the Count. It was well received, for 
the good-humour which prevailed rendered the company indulgent 
critics. Amongst the other delights of the day I had a most luxu- 
rious bath at noon. Why do people go to Saratoga to mix in a 
crowd of queer strangers, dragging out a tiresome day of artificial 
enjo>Tiient, when they might come here and enjoy pure air, invigo- 
rating bathing, and refined society ? Chacun a son goiit. I prefer 

New York, Aug, n. — My beautiful namesake, the brig " Philip 
Hone," arrived on Sunday, from the Pacific ocean, to Rowland 
and Aspinwall. 

My poor country, what is to be the issue of the 
^''"'^r '" violence of the people and the disregard of law which 

prevails in all parts of it ? On Friday night a mob col- 
lected in Baltimore, instigated by inflammatory handbills, to take 
vengeance upon several persons who had been directors of the Bank 
of Maryland, — an institution which stopped payment something 


more than a year ago, and by which many persons had lost money. 
They attacked and broke the windows of the house occupied by 
Mr. Reverdy Johnson, which was built by James A. Buchanan, next 
door to Mrs. WilUam Gilmor, near to Barnum's Hotel, and within a 
short distance of Meredith's house. The Mayor interfered, and the 
mob was addressed by several gentlemen, and dispersed without 
doing a great deal of damage, but only to renew the attack with 
increased numbers and greater ferocity. The same scenes were 
repeated on Saturday night and on Sunday, when the house was 
pulled do^vn, as well as that of Mr. Glenn, another of the bank 
directors, who lived in North Charles street. All the furniture of 
both these houses was thrown into the street, burned, and destroyed. 
The troops fired upon the mob, several were killed, and a large 
number wounded. 

The accounts published in the papers of this afternoon are up to 
yesterday morning, at which time the work of destruction was still 
going on. The scene is represented as horrible in the extreme, but 
the accounts are vague and contradictory. About twenty persons 
were killed and one hundred wounded. The house of the Mayor, 
who had done his duty well, was destroyed ; the troops had refused 
to act any further, and the mob appears to have completely got the 
ascendency. This is Lynch's law, or Club law, or Beelzebub's law, 
or Jackson's law. It is the state of things which the editor of the 
" Evening Post " must have anticipated and wished for when he 
congratulated his fellow-rufifians that the sheet-anchor of the law 
and the Constitution was lost ; that the wise and the virtuous 
Marshall no longer lived to control the bad passions of the people. 
Where will it end? 

RocKAWAY, Wednesday, Aug. 12. — My feelings are 
Dreadful Fire, excitcd and my heart is sick at the scenes I witnessed 
this morning ; but I am glatl I happened to be in 
town, for it was better to see the work of destruction than to hear 
it described. At two o'clock a fire broke out in the large new 
brick building No, 115 Fulton street, occupied by a number of 

154 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

bookbinders, etc. I saw the fire from my bed, and knew, from the 
direction and the reflection of the light on the steeple of the North 
Church near, about where it was. I did not arise for some time, 
until I concluded, from the progress of the flames, that Clinton Hall 
might be in danger. I then went out and witnessed the awful 
scene until seven o'clock. It has been the most destructive fire 
which has ever occurred in New York, with the exception, perhaps, 
of the great fire, thirty or forty years ago, at the Coffee House 
Slip : because in this case most of the buildings were new, five 
and six stories high, and of brick. This part of the city was 
the Paternoster Row of New York, in which two or three thou- 
sand persons were employed daily in the various departments 
of book making, binding, publishing, etc. Fifteen or twenty 
newspapers and other periodicals were pubUshed within its pre- 
cincts, and the stock of books, most of which was destroyed, was 

The building in which the fire originated, with six others, occu- 
pying the whole ground on that side of Fulton street, including 
Bliss & Wadsworth's splendid book and stationery store and Abra- 
ham Bell & Co.'s counting-house, from the Dutch church minister's 
house to the North Church, were entirely destroyed,, and nearly all 
the houses on the opposite side of Fulton street. The flames 
passed through the block to Ann street, and swept away all the new 
lofty buildings on both sides of the street, including Holbrook's 
store. Fuller's gymnasium, six stories high, and the Catholic church, 
which was the extent of the devastation in that direction. From 
Ann street it communicated to Nassau street, where ten or twelve 
buildings on the east side were destroyed; two of these, Nos. no 
and 112, were large new warehouses filled with books and paper, 
all of which was lost. The houses on Nassau street were the last 
destroyed, and at this period the immense establishment of the 
American Bible Society, Clinton Hall, and my property, Clinton 
Hotel, were in considerable danger ; but happily the progress of the 
flames was arrested and all this valuable property escaped uninjured. 


Five persons are known to have lost their Hves ; Mr. Blanchard, a 
respectable bookbinder, and two printers in the building where 
the fire originated. The former jumped out of a window in the 
fourth story and died in ten minutes ; the others were burned, 
and two more were killed by falling walls. I witnessed the con- 
flagration from the upper story of Clinton Hall, and it was astonishing 
to see the rapidity with which it progressed. 

August 13.' — Great excitement prevails in all parts of 
tionists" '' ^^^ country on the subject of the attempts made by the 
friends of immediate emancipation to excite the slaves 
of the South to resist the authority of their masters ; at least, such 
is the alleged tendency of the indiscreet measures of those fanatical 
persons who have engaged in that cause. Inflammatory publica- 
tions have been circulated in the slaveholding States by means of 
the mails, and the people of those States have resorted to violent 
measures to counteract their effects ; among others, application was 
made to the Postmaster-General to prevent their distribution. 
The reply of that important functionary (the notorious Amos 
Kendal) contains the following sentiment, which embodies all the 
essence of the abominable doctrines on which the Vicksburgh and 
Baltimore riots were founded ; viz., that the people are to be gov- 
erned by the law just so long as it suits them, and constitutes them 
the judges of the time when they may release themselves from the 
obligation of obedience, and the manner of substituting " LjTich's 
law " for the written law of the land. The letter is addressed to 
the Postmaster of Charleston, S.C. "We owe an obligation to 
the laws, but a higher one to the community in which we live, and 
if the former be perverted to destroy the latter, it is patriotism to 
disregard them." Every petty postmaster in the country is thus 
made the judge of the cases which justify his interposition, and he 
may stop the circulation of pamphlets, newspapers, and letters too, 
for aught I can see to the contrary. These postmasters are to a 
man the subservient tools of Jackson, Kendal, & Co., and may 
consider it " patriotism to disregard the laws " by preventing the 

156 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat 55. 

circulation of all publications opposed to the reigning dynasty and 
the legitimate succession. 

The abolitionists, Arthur Tappan and his fanatical coadjutors, are 
certainly engaged in a most mischievous undertaking, which may 
bring destruction upon their own heads and civil war into the 
bosom of our hitherto happy country ; but the remedy is worse than 
the disease. If they are punished, if their dangerous career is 
arrested, it must be done according to law. I do not choose to sur- 
render the power of executing justice into the hands of the slave- 
owners of South Carolina. 

August 14. — That affair is over. The mob have 
Mob""" dispersed after pulling down five or six fine houses, 

burning the furniture, and drinking the old wine. The 
number of persons killed was exaggerated in the first accounts. It 
does not exceed seven. This was one of Amos Kendal's cases, in 
which the people determined that the " laws were perverted, and it 
was patriotism to disregard them." 

August 19. — The " Constitution " sailed this morning 
on a cruise in the Mediterranean, with Jackson's head 

Ironsides. ' •' 

disgracing her bow, and Commodore Elliot her quar- 
ter-deck. The vile sycophancy which caused the former to be 
placed where it is, obtained for the latter a distinction which would 
not have been awarded to him by any brother officer in the navy. 

A meeting has been called in Boston for 21st instant, 
Meetin " ''^"" sigucd by fifteen hundred persons, at the head of whom 
is Harrison G. Otis, to express their disapprobation of 
the proceedings of the fanatics who are seeking to sow the seeds of 
discord among our fellow-citizens of the South, and to excite the 
slaves to revolt against their masters. This may be good. It will 
serve to convince the slave- o\\Tiers that the number of those who 
seek to do them harm is too inconsiderable to give them uneasi- 
ness. I should approve of such a meeting in New York, if it could 
be conducted without violence and party-spirit. 

At Home, Wednesday, Aug. 26. — The abolition question con- 


1S35] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 1 57 

tinues to agitate the public mind, and acquires hourly a most alarm- 
ng interest. A great meeting is to be held to-morrow afternoon, in 
the Park, of those opposed to the incendiary proceedings of the 
abolitionists. The call is signed by several hundred persons, of dif- 
ferent political parties, headed by the Mayor. One object of my 
coming to town is to attend this meeting, for I am desirous that 
persons of character should be present in the greatest possible 
numbers, with the twofold object of convincing the people of the 
South that the incendiaries constitute an inconsiderable proportion 
of our citizens, and to prevent any violence which might possibly 
be attempted by turbulent persons ever on the lookout for a row, 
for it is certain that in the present state of feeling the least spark 
would create a flame in which the lives and property of x\rthur 
Tappan and his associates would be endangered. 

August 27. — The public meeting of citizens opposed to the 
abolition society, and the interference of individuals between the 
masters and the slaves in the Southern States, was held this after- 
noon, at four o'clock, in the Park. The following were the officers, 
and if wisdom is found in a multitude of counsellors this must have 
been an eminently wise assemblage : President, His Honor the 
Mayor. Vice-Presidents, Thomas L. Oaklc}', William T. jMcCoun, 
David B. Ogden, Henry Parish, Peter Crary, Walter Eowne, John 
L. Morgan, Luman Reed, Isaac S. Hone, Campbell P. White, 
Prosper M. Wetmore, Philip Hone, Edward Curtis, Thaddeus 
Phelps, Joseph Cowdin, Daniel Jackson, Charles A. Davis, George 
L. Robbins, Charles L. Livingston, Reuben Withers, John D. Wolf, 
Seth Geer, Egbert Benson, John L. Graham, Isaac H. Varian, 
Robert Center, William L. Johnson, Joseph D. Beers. Secretaries, 
John R. Marshall, George Sharp, Robert Pitts, John L. Bailey, 
Isaac Townsend, T^Iorgan L. Smith, R. C. Wetmore, James Lee, 
Henry H. Elliott, Seneca Stewart, Thomas C, Doremus, George L. 
Easton. The preamble and resolutions were all very temperate 
and proper, the proceedings orderly, and the large assembly broke 
up without the least indecorum. 

158 THE DIARY OF riilLIP HONE. DEtat. 55. 

At Home, Tuesday, Sept. i . — The marine Pavilion is now 
" a banquet-hall deserted." This establishment, gotten up and 
supported at so great an expense, has been neglected by the New 
Yorkers, with the exception of my family and connections and a 
few others. The house has been encouraged only by Philadel- 
phians and other strangers. The fashionable people of our city 
have preferred the Virginia Springs, Saratoga, Newport, and a place 
they call Sachem's Head, to a house of their own possessing advan- 
tages greater than any other. 

We had a pretty sight at Rockaway. Shortly before 
Packets. -^tq came away, the three outward-bound packets were 

all in sight in a line with the beach, about a mile apart ; 
vaz., the "Toronto," for London; "Caledonia," for Liverpool; 
and " Utica," for Havre. The wind was light, but fair, and these 
noble vessels, under full sail, passed, slowly, steadily, and gracefully 
on to their several destinations. May they arrive in safety to " the 
havens where they would be " ! 

Boston, Saturday, Sept. 5. — We landed the New- 
Boston P°^^ passengers, of whom Mrs. Ritchie was one, at five 
o'clock. Mrs. James W. Otis came on to Providence. 
At eight o'clock we left Providence on the railroad and arrived here 
at three-quarters past ten. Dr. Wainwright was our fellow-passen- 
ger from New York. We got a tolerably good bed-chamber at the 
Tremont House, and were regularly installed into the comforts of 
]\Ir. Belknap's pleasant parlour. I found, among the inmates of the 
house, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bayard, Mr. and Mme. Podestad, 
Francis March, John C. Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt Blood- 
good, Miss Mary Van Schaick, and many other acquaintances. 

Speculation in real estate has reached as great a height as in 
New York, pulling dowTi and rebuilding in the fashion of the day, 
and it seems as if all the world had entered into a combination to 
exhaust the quarries of granite in the neighbourhood. A company, 
consisting of Patrick T. Jackson, Abbott Lawrence, and William 
Appleton, have bought the ancient house and grounds of the late 


Gardiner Greene, on Court street, and the adjoining property of 
Deacon Philips, at enormous prices, pulled down the houses, lev- 
elled a hill sixty feet in height, and made fifty or sixty building 
lots, of which they will make maps and sell the whole at auction, 
and, availing themselves of the present rage, will no doubt make a 
great deal of money. 

September 6. — In the afternoon I visited and had a delightful 
talk of two or three hours with Mr. IT. G. Otis, where I drank tea, 
and went in the evening to Mr. Peter Parker's, Mr. Samuel D. 
Parker's, and Mr. Sullivan's, at each of which places I had been 
invited to those agreeable Sunday-evening parties for which the 
Bostonians are so celebrated, and which I enjoy so much. 

Tuesday, Sept. 8. — The Legislature is in session. I went this 
morning, first to the Senate and afterward to the House of 
Assembly. In the latter chamber, Mr. George Blake, who is a 
member, placed me in a most conspicuous seat, near the Speaker, 
and close to the clerk's table, in view of the whole House, Avhere I 
received the attentions of several of the members with whom I was 
acquainted. This is an extra session for revising the laws of the 
State. The number of members is too great. The House consists 
of upwards of six hundred, of whom four hundred were present 
this morning. They are a good-looking, orderly body of men, and 
their business is conducted in a decorous, gentlemanly manner. 

In the evening I went to a party at Mrs. Augustus Thorndike's. 
A prettier party, a more tasteful house, I have never seen. 
Madame Podestad and the Count sang delightfully. Mrs. Thorn- 
dike's sisters, ]\Irs. Delprat and Mrs. Calvert, and their father. Dr. • 
Stuart, of Baltimore, are here on a visit. 

September 9. — At eleven o'clock precisely we started on the 
railroad for Lowell ; arrived at a quarter-past twelve. Started on 
our return at two, and got to Boston at half-past three. The dis- 
tance is twenty-five miles. There is a prodigious deal of travelling 
on the road. They take seventy-five minutes to perform the dis- 
tance, and the punctuality is astonishing. There was not a varia- 

l60 THE DIARY OF rillLTP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

tion of half a minute in starting and arriving eitlier way. Our time 
was rather short in Lowell, but long enough to see this lion of New 
England ; this Manchester of America ; this city of enormous brick 
factories, of canals and waste-gates, of billies and jennies, of 
jacks and spindles. 

I dined at Mr. H. G. Otis's, and had, as is always the case in the 
house of this agreeable and hospitable gentleman, a most capital 
dinner. Mrs. Ritchie (who came with her mother yesterday from 
Newport) presided at the dinner, and imparted to it the charm 
which always attends her presence. The company, besides myself, 
consisted of Mr. and Madame Podestad, Mr. and Mrs. Bayard, 
Messrs. Belknap, F. Grey, Sears, Middleton, J. G. Pierson, of New 
York, and Allyn Otis. 

September 10. — This day has been devoted to a sailing and 
fishing party, in the beautiful bay of Boston, on board the 
" Dream," — a pleasure schooner belonging to a company of gentle- 
men of this place. She was formerly owned in New York by 
Hosack, Center, and my son Robert and others. We left Boston 
at ten o'clock, the party consisting of Messrs. Brooks, Belknap, 
Whitwell, Isaac P. Davis, Colonel Freeman, Philip, and myself. 
After we had proceeded twenty miles down the bay, and were en- 
gaged in fishing, we were joined by the celebrated sloop (formerly 
Mr. Cushing's boat), whose passengers, Messrs. Forbes, Bryant, 
and Sturgis, joined our party. We sailed in company during the 
remainder of the day, which was passed in joviality and good- 
humour. We caught about three dozen codfish and haddock, ate 
our chowder, drank any quantity of punch, champagne, and old 
Madeira. The weather was fine as possible, the wind fair both 
going and returning, and we got home about eight o'clock. 

September ii. — I passed this morning in returning visits. Mr. 
Sears called to see me, and took me to his house to see a number 
of capital pictures which he has lately brought from Italy. They 
are copies from celebrated pictures, and possess great merit. Mr. 
Sears's house is certainly the finest in the United States. The 


front, on I'leacon street, is one hundred feet. They say it cost 
^175,000; and this noble house is filled with treasures of art. 
Among the pictures are the " Miriam " and another of Allston's. 
Mr. Sears went to Europe for his health, which was much impaired, 
and returned quite well in July last. 

September 12. — This day must be marked with a 

" / white stone. It was one of the most pleasant of my 

life. I expected much from it, hut my expectation has 
been more than realized. At six o'clock Philip and I went, by pre- 
cious arrangement and breakfasted with the acting governor, Sam- 
uel T. Armstrong. After breakfast we started in his carriage, the 
party consisting of the Governor, his military staff, Adjutant-Gen- 
eral Dearborn, Colonel Winthrop, and ourselves. The morning was 
lowering, but it soon cleared, and the weather during the day was 
peculiarly favourable. On arriving at Lexington, eleven miles from 
Boston, we left the carriage, and visited the celebrated spot behind 
the meeting-house where the first blood was shed in the glorious 
cause e^ American independence, on the 19th of April, 1775. -^ 
granite monument has been erected on the spot where the bones 
of the first martyrs in that cause were interred. No description 
nor drawing of the spot could convey to my mind so full an idea 
of the events of that important day in the history of my country 
as a view of it, with the detailed account I received from my com- 

We proceeded to Concord, seven miles farther by the same road 
which the British took after the skirmish at Lexington, where they 
were opposed by the militia, and where the first regular battle took 
place. At Concord, therefore, the revolution commenced. 

^^'e found the whole population in motion, waiting to receive us ; 
proceeded, agreeably to arrangement, to the house of Mr. Hoar, 
member of Congress from the district, from whence we went to the 
hotel, where a grand procession was formed, escorted by a com- 
pany of troops. The procession passed through a line of ladies 
and children (the latter pupils of the schools), and entered the 

1 62 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^Etat. 55. 

meeting-house in which the exercises of the day were to be per- 
formed. These exercises were introduced by prayer from the 
venerable pastor, Dr. Ripley, a hearty old gentleman eighty-four 
years old, as he informed me himself. Several odes were sung, and 
an excellent oration spoken by the Rev. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 
young clergyman of distinguished talents and eloquence. It was 
full of interesting details relative to the first settlement of Concord, 
the first inland town settled in the colony. The grant which was 
made to the Rev. Peter Buckley and Major Simon Willard was 
dated 2d Sept., 1635, old style. The history of the sufferings and 
privations of the first settlers and their immediate descendants, 
their wars and adventures with the Indians, and many facts illus- 
trative of those primitive times carefully collated from the ancient 
town records up to the time when this little republic of honest 
Yankees was called to act an important part in the revolution 
which separated the western world from the dominion of the 
mother-country, gave a vivid interest to the oration, the reading of 
which occupied two hours. The services all partook of the spirit 
of the olden times; amongst them was the " 107th Psalm, tune 
St. INIartin's," " from the New England version used in the New 
England churches in 1640," which was sung by the whole assem- 
blage, the deacon giving it out line by line. 

The exercises in the meeting-house concluded at two o'clock, 
when the procession formed again and marched to a great pavilion 
on the green, where tables and a cold collation were spread, and 
about four hundred as honest-looking Yankees as ever sat down to 
eat cold roast pig were assembled. Never have I seen anything of 
the kind so decidedly American ; no foreign influence ; no grating 
brogue ; every man looked and acted as if the honour of his virtu- 
ous ancestors was in his sole keeping. Mr. Keyes, member of the 
General Court from Concord, presided with great ability. There 
were no regular toasts, but the president gave them, prefaced by 
some apt remarks calculated to draw out in succession the distin- 
guished guests. We had speeches from Lieutenant-Governor Arm- 


Strong, Mr. Everett, Mr. Philips, member of Congress from Salem ; 
General Dearborn, and Colonel Winthrop, of the Governor's staff; 
Judge Davis, Mr. Bradford, and Mr. Emerson, the orator of the 
day. I also was called out by a toast from the Chair, complimen- 
tary to myself and the city of New York, and replied in a speech 
which must have been pretty good, unless I mistook the expressions 
of kindness to a stranger for an approval of his sentiments and his 
manner of conveying them to the audience. I closed my address 
with the following toast : " Concord and Boston, the birthplace and 
cradle of American liberty ; good nursing has made the babe 
healthy and vigorous, but she requires watching more now than 

Our party went from the dinner-table to visit the ladies, who had 
invited us to drink coffee with them at their banquet. The court- 
house was beautifully fitted up with festoons and wreaths of flowers 
and evergreens, and tables were spread at which all the ladies of 
Concord had dined. There was not a house in the whole town 
probably at which dinner had been provided this day, and not one 
which contained an inhabitant who was able to leave it, and here I 
was, talking to fine Yankee women and blooming Yankee girls until 
the Governor's carriage was announced, which carried us unwill- 
ingly away, and we arrived in Boston at nine o'clock. I have been 
delighted with this affair, for it was precisely one of those which I 
have long desired to witness ; and the honour which has been con- 
ferred upon me on this occasion I shall remember with gratitude. 

I had forgotten to remark that we had amongst us, in the meet- 
ing-house and at the dinner, eight or ten old gentlemen who were 
soldiers of the battle of Concord on the 19th of April, 1775. 
They were eloquently alluded to by the orator of the day, and 
verbal laurels were showered upon their hoary heads in abun- 
dance by several of the gentlemen who spoke at dinner. 

Sunday, Sept. 13. — We went this morning to the King's 
Chapel, and heard a good sermon from Dr. Greenwood, the Uni- 
tarian pastor of that congregation. 

l64 THE DIARY OF TIIILir HONE. [/Etat. 55. 

One of the pillars intended for the portico of the new court- 
house was brought into the city this evening from Quincy. It 
weighs between twenty-eight and thirty tons, and was drawn by 
forty-two yoke of oxen. 

September 14. — We went this morning to see the pictures at 
the Athenaeum, principally a head by Allston, " Isaac of York," 
which, notwithstanding the praise so liberally bestowed upon it 
by the Bostonians, I do not like. But there are some fine pict- 
ures belonging to the Academy which required more time to 
examine than I had to bestow, for I had to return to my lodgings 
to take a luncheon preparatory to my departure. 

September 15. — The Legislature of Mississippi have passed a 
law offering a reward of ^5,000 for the arrest and conviction of 
any person " who shall utter, publish, or circulate within the limits 
of that State, the * Liberator,' or any other paper, circular, pam- 
phlet, letter, or address of a seditious character." 

September 23. — The plan for macadamizing the 
Br^'dw street before my house not having fully answered 

public expectation, the corporation have been trying 
a new experiment in Broadway, in front of the block between 
Warren and Chambers streets, copied from a plan of paving in St. 
Petersburgh, Russia. The street is excavated to the depth of 
about two feet ; a layer of broken stone is placed, such as is used 
for macadamizing, on the top of which a regular pavement of 
round stones, the whole covered by a compact course of wooden 
blocks, sexagonal, one foot in length, and placed vertically. These 
are made to fit very nicely, the interstices (which of course are 
small) filled with liquid tar, and covered with a thin coat of gravel. 
The street was used yesterday for the first time, and the multitudi- 
nous train of omnibuses, carriages, carts, and wagons which infest 
Broadway appeared to pass over the new Appian way " pretty 
tolerably slick." But it remains to be seen whether hemlock 
timber is less destructible than Nyack stone, and whether three dis- 
tinct layers of road may not peradventure cost more than one. 


Sefiemrer 30. — I took Mr. Brevoort, Mr. Louis McLane, and 
Washington Irving out in the carriage to dine with old Mr. Astor, 
at Hell-gate. A\'e had a pleasant, easy, sociable dinner, and 
returned home at nine o'clock. 

Jones Scherraerhorn and Mary came in town this morning 
to stay with us until they sail. The day of their departure, 
alas ! approaches very fast. This day week my dear girls leave 
me ; it would be nothing to part with them if Mary's health 
were not precarious. If she were the gay, jocund, bright- 
eyed, and cherry-cheeked creature she formerly was, her voyage 
would be a pleasure to me as to herself; but Heaven will hear 
my prayers, unworthy as I am, and return in due time my 
beloved child to me, looking and acting and talking as Mary 
Hone used to do. 

October 5 . — The penny papers and the two-penny people of 
our slander-loving city have nuts to crack in a spree which took 
place last night, in which the performers were the young noblemen 
who are here. The Marquis of Waterford, Lord John Beresford, Lord 
Jocelyn, and Colonel Dundas dinfed yesterday on board the yacht 
belonging to the Marquis, got drunk, came on shore, made a row, 
had a battle with the watch, were overcome, taken to the watch- 
house, and kept in durance vile until this morning, when they were 
liberated by the Mayor. The papers, with their usual veracity, 
charge upon the ]\Liyor the offence of entertaining these gentle- 
men at dinner yesterday and making them drunk; but it is 
not true. Some of them dined with him on Tuesday, as I know, 
for I was there ; but he is not chargeable with this Sunday's 

OcroBER 8. — This has been a day of severe trial 
m'^'Dau'.^htcrs ^^^ "^^ ^^^ ^^^ flxmily. My daughters, Mary and 
Catharine, with Mary's husband, J. Jones Schermerhorn, 
and Gen. James J. Jones, sailed for Havre in the packet-ship 
" Poland," Captain Anthony. Everything was propitious. She is 
a noble ship, has admirable accommodations, and a first-rate 

l66 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

commander. The weather, which has been stormy the first of the 
week, cleared up, and a more beautiful morning never broke upon 
the eyes of anxious travellers and their friends. The wind, too, was 
quite fair, and it would have been a holiday for us had not my dear 
Mary's health been so delicate that fears, anxieties, and fore- 
bodings dashed the cup of enjoyment from their lips and ours. 
All the relations and intimate friends of the family called in the 
morning, and the anguish of parting and the excitement caused by 
the number of persons present was too much for poor Mary, and 
I thought at one time it would have overcome her, but she went 
off tolerably well. 

October 12. — The friends of General Harrison, 
^T^^T ^ the Whig candidate, got up a festival and dinner on the 
5th, the anniversary of the battle of the Thames, in 
which he was the commanding general. This affair took place 
twenty odd years ago, and this is the first time it has been cele- 
brated in this part of the country ; but as glorification is the order 
of the day, the Harrisonites thought it was better late than never. 
But the best of the joke is, that the Van Buren men determined to 
have a glorification of the same event, in honour of their candidate 
for the Vice- Presidency, Richard M. Johnson, who fought in the 
same battle, and, as they say, killed Tecumseh ; but he didn't. So 
they had a dinner at Tammany Hall on the same day. The Mayor 
presided, as a set-off against General Bogardus, the president of the 
other party ; and amongst the regular toasts, and the one hundred 
and one volunteers, of which Johnson was the oft-repeated burthen, 
not a single man had the grace to mention the name of Harrison. 
The play of Hamlet was performed, the part of Hamlet (by 
particular desire) left out. 

October 13. — Miss Helen Kane was at our house last evening, 
and went home attended by Robert. A long time afterward a 
messenger came to inquire about her. Nicholson, her lover, met 
them on the way, took the lady from Robert, and one of those 
moonlight walks so dear to lovers was the consequence. 


October 14. — The gambling in stocks in Wall 
GambUng. Street has arrived at such a pitch, and the sudden 
reverses of fortune are so frequent, that it is a matter 
of every-day intelligence that some unlucky rascal has lost other 
people's money to a large amount, and run away, or l)een caught 
and consigned to the hands of justice. It is one taken from the 
mass ; there is some swearing among the losers, some regret on the 
part of the immediate friends of the defaulter, but the chasm on 
the face of society which his detection and removal occasions is 
filled up in a day or two. They go to work again to cheat each 
other, and the catastrophe of Monday is forgotten by Saturday 

The Count Survilliers (Joseph Bonaparte) arrived yesterday at 
Philadelphia, in the ship " Monongahela," from Liverpool. His 
visit to Europe was said, at the time of his departure from this 
country, to be in consequence of certain revolutionary movements 
in France, which indicated a chance for the restoration of the 
Bonapartes to the throne. If such was his motive he has been 
disappointed, and it is likely he will pass the remainder of his life 
in the United States. 

October 24. — The excitement about abolition 
Meetin'T Hicetings is increasing, and, as I feared, the remedy 
is becoming worse than the disease. The abolition 
convention was to have assembled at Utica on Wednesday, and the 
Common Council had granted to them the use of the court-room 
in which to hold the meeting. This was highly disapproved by a 
large proportion of the citizens ; the consent was withdrawn, and 
the convention procured one of the churches. An opposition 
meeting wms held on the same day, which succeeded in preventing 
the convention from meeting, and compelled the members to leave 
the city, although in their number were reverend divines and sage 
judges, and a speech of that ass Lewis Tappan was cut short in the 

October 25. — My birthday. I am fifty-five years of age. My 


health is tolerably good, my faculties unimpaired, my mind capable, 
I believe, as ever it was, but less disposed to exertion ; my temper, 
I fear, a little more irritable than it should be, and I cannot jump so 
high, nor run so fast, as I did twenty years ago ; but, on the whole, 
I have not much reason to complain, and am better off in all 
respects than I deserve to be. 

October 26. — Mr. Van Buren has been in town about ten 
days, I called to see him and invited him to dine, but others had 
the start of me, and he was engaged for the whole of his stay in 
the city. He leaves town to-morrow. He looks very well, and, 
from his ease of manner and imperturbable good temper, it might 
be supposed that he had less to occupy and trouble his mind than 
any man in New York. His outward appearance is like the 
unruffled surface of the majestic river which covers rocks and 
whirlpools, but shows no marks of the agitation beneath. 

The general meeting took place last evening, at 
MeTtir^ '^ Tammany Hall, to approve of the nomination of a 
member of Congress in place of Campbell P. White, 
and the Assembly ticket. Great opposition was expected from the 
anti- monopoly agrarian and pledge party, and one of these rows 
for which Tammany Hall is famous took place, and great was the 
confusion and dire the din which prevailed in the wigwam. The 
opposition was directed principally against the nomination of 
Gideon Lee for Congress. He is thought to be a little too much 
of a gentleman. The regulars, however, having previously made 
their arrangements disregarding the opposition, declared the nomi- 
nations agreed to, adjourned the meeting, and put out the lights. 
The malcontents, however, were not content to grope thus in the 
dark, but each producing from his pocket a tallow-candle, ten to 
the pound, and a loco-foco to ignite it, soon brought matters to 
light again, reorganized the meeting by placing the noted dema- 
gogue, Joel G. Seaver, in the chair, passed resolutions condemning 
banks and other monopolies and approving the system of legislative 
pledges, substituted Charles G. Ferris for Congress in place of Mr. 

I835-] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 169 

Lee, put Job Haskell and three or four others on the Assembly 
ticket, and marched up to the Bowery to the music of their own 
throats and the light of their own candles. 

In the mean time the Native American Association, made up of 
different parties, and having no other bond of union than the total 
exclusion of foreigners from office, have had a meeting and nomi- 
nated an Assembly ticket, of whom I do not know an individual ; 
but I like the ostensible object of this association, and am of the 
opinion that times may come and cases occur in which its influence 
may be favourably exercised. 

October 31. — The Native American Association have nominated 
James Monroe for Congress. The split among the Tammany folks 
is so wide, and their animosity against each other so bitter, that 
Monroe may very easily be elected if the Whigs can be interested 
sufficiently in the event to induce them to go to the polls. 

November i i . — I went this evening to the Chatham- 
Oratorios, street chapel to hear the oratorio of the " Messiah " per- 
formed by the Sacred Music Society, and was astonished 
at the magnificence of the scene ; the audience, of whom a large 
proportion were ladies, must have amounted to between two and 
three thousand. Mr. and Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Franklin, Brough, and 
Pierson were the principal singers. The chorus consisted of upward 
of a hundred ; the females, all dressed alike in white and arranged 
on the opposite sides of the music gallery, formed a beautiful and 
interesting coup d'ceil. The ground- floor, which is very capacious, 
and two large galleries were so crowded that I could scarcely find 
standing-room behind the benches, and I came away before this 
rational and delightful entertainment was finished. 

How little do the people of such a city as NewYork know what 
is passing around them ! These oratorios have been going on for 
a long time, and I have never heard them spoken of; while if I 
had attended such an exhibition in a foreign country it would 
have been the theme of a glowing and animated description, and 
very probably I shoukl have lamented the want of such things in 


my own country. So every night we have four theatres open, and 
one at least, the Park, full at every performance, and making 
money fost enough, I should say, to satisfy even Mr. Simpson, 
the proprietor. 

The avidity with which people crowd to hear these oratorios, and 
the immense houses which Mr. and Mrs. Wood bring nightly to the 
Park, prove that the New Yorkers are not devoid of musical taste, 
notwithstanding that the Italian opera does not succeed, and the 
proprietors are about selling their opera-house (the neatest and 
most beautiful theatre in the United States, and unsurpassed in 
Europe) ; but there are two reasons for this, both of which savour 
much of the John Bullism which we have inherited from our fore- 
fathers. The first is, that we want to understand the language ; we 
cannot endure to sit by and see the performers splitting their sides 
with laughter, and we not take the joke ; dissolved in " briny tears," 
and we not permitted to sympathize with them ; or running each 
other through the body, and we devoid of the means of condemning 
or justifying the act. The other is the private boxes, so elegantly 
fitted up, which occupy the whole of the second tier. They cost 
six thousand dollars each, to be sure, and the use of them is all 
that the proprietors get for their money ; but it forms a sort of 
aristocratical distinction. Many people do not choose to occupy 
seats (more pleasant and commodious than they can find in any 
other theatre) while others recline upon satin cushions, and rest 
their elbows upon arm-chairs, albeit they are bought with their own 
money. These causes have prevented the success of the Italian 
opera, and I do not wonder at it. I like this spirit of independence 
which refuses its countenance to anything exclusive. " Let the 
proprietors," say the sovereigns, " have their private boxes and satin 
cushions ; they have paid well for them and are entitled to enjoy 
them. We will not furnish the means of supporting the establish- 
ment, but go to the Park Theatre, where it is ' first come, first 
served ; ' where our dollar will furnish us with ' the best the House 
affords,' aivl where the Woods will provide us with that dollar's 


worth of something we can understand without the aid of a 
bunghng translation. 

November 13. — This gentleman (who, by the bye, 
Booth, the j ^^^^ never seen) has been playing at the Bowery 

Tragedian. ^ i. J o J 

Theatre. He is a great actor in high, strongly- marked 
tragedy parts, such as Richard, lago, Sir Giles, and Sir Edward 
Mortimer. He is also remarkable for his eccentricities, and there 
seems to be little doubt that at times his mind is alienated ; he 
gave a proof of this on Monday night. He was to play lago. 
^^'hen all was ready, the play begun, and Othello (Hamblin) waiting 
for him, he stalked across the stage, made an irregular exit by a 
back door, and was seen no more that night and for two or three 
following days. Some of the audience got their money back, and 
the play went on with a substitute in the part. Poor Booth now 
comes out with a humble apology for the " sad and unconscious 
act," the excuse for which he says " is a serious visitation, affecting 
and enfeebling my nerves, and a long deprivation of sleep, acting 
on a body debilitated by previous illness, and a mind disordered 
by domestic affliction, occasioning a partial derangement." He 
prays to be permitted to appear again, and says very afifectingly, 
" If I find by your reception that I have offended beyond forgive- 
ness, I will immediately withdraw from that stage where I have ever 
been treated, both by the public and the manager, with kindness 
and liberality." Mr. Hamblin has by this apology been prevailed 
upon to consent to his appearance to-morrow evening in the part 
of Sir Giles Overreach, and there is no doubt that public sympathy 
will be excited to fill the house and give the poor fellow not only 
the forgiveness of the audience, but a kind and generous reception. 
A meeting of the friends of General Harrison was 
Meetir" held, on Thursday evening, at Constitution Hall, to 

recommend him as the candidate for the Presidency in 
opposition to Mr. Van Buren. I did not attend this meeting, nor 
do I intend to commit myself to the support of General Harrison, 
Judge White, or any other man, until it is clearly ascertained that 

172 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. C^tat. 55. 

there is no chance for Mr. Webster. A meeting of his friends is 
soon to be called in this city. That meeting I ze//// attend, Daniel 
Webster's claim is incomparably stronger than that of either of the 
other candidates. He is entitled to the people's votes, for he is 
their true friend, and not the friend of a party or a section. He 
merits the support of his country, for his patriotism is not of those 
scanty proportions which will cover only a part of his country, and 
the Constitution can never be so safe in any other hands as in his 
who has proved himself its ablest expounder and firmest supporter. 
I go, therefore, for Webster until it is made manifest that he has 
no chance of success, and then for the next best man, Harrison or 
whoever it may be; 

November 26. — The following notice is published 
Webster ^.j^-g j^oming with one thousand one hundred signatures : 

" Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and insep- 
arable. The citizens of the city and county of New York, friendly 
to the election of Daniel Webster to the Presidency, are requested 
to assemble at Masonic Hall, on Friday evening, the 4th of 

There are now three candidates fairly in the field in opposition 
to Mr. Van Buren, very much to his satisfaction, no doubt ; the 
more the merrier, the greater the division amongst his opponents 
the more certain his chance ; such things do not happen in the 
party which supports him, — they are too well drilled, and, right or 
wrong, they " go ahead." Judge White, of Tennessee, General 
Harrison, of Ohio, and Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts, are the 
Whig candidates in opposition to the nominee of the Baltimore 
Convention ; the friends of each seem at present indisposed to 
abandon their favourite, but I should not be surprised if, in the end, 
they should give up their own ground and take to Clay. 

November 27. — The good people of New York are 
\ "^'^ certainly not fairly chargeable with a want of taste in 

music, or liberality in rewarding musical talent, not- 
withstanding the failure of the Italian opera. That failure arose 

1835-] THE DIARY OF rHILIP HONE. 1 73 

from causes inherent in its own construction, which I have explained 
in a former part of this journal ; but the citizens of New York, not 
those alone who constitute what is called "good society," but re- 
spectable persons in the middle walks of life, who select with care- 
ful deliberation the kind of amusement which suits them best, are 
fond of music, and patronize it in preference to any other public 
or theatrical entertainment. This description of persons consti- 
tuted a large proportion of the audience at the performance of 
Mr. Horn's oratorio on Wednesday evening, and it is said that the 
proceeds amounted to $1,600. In corroboration of my opin- 
ion on this subject, the engagements of those beautiful singers, 
I\Ir. and Mrs. Wood, have been more profitable than any former 
one in this country. 

Living in New York is exorbitantly dear, and it falls 
Dear Living, pretty hard upon persons like me, who live upon their 
income, and harder still upon that large and respecta- 
ble class consisting of the officers and clerks in public institutions, 
whose support is derived from fixed salaries. I can raise my rents, 
if the tenants are able and willing to pay; but the increase of their 
pay depends upon others, who in their turn are precluded from the 
exercise of liberality by the fact of their being the stewards of 
others, who cannot be consulted, and who as individuals may be 
liberal enough, but collectively are very apt to verify the adage that 
" corporations have no souls." Marketing of all kinds, with the 
exception of apples and potatoes, is higher than I ever knew it. 
The sweat of the brow of New York all runs into the pockets of the 
farmers. I paid to-day S30 a ton for hay, and not an old-fash- 
ioned ton of 2,240 lbs., but a new-fangled ton, invented to cheat 
the consumer, of 2,000 lbs. This is a cent and a half a pound, 
nearly three times the ordinary price. I paid also for my winter 
butter, 400 to 500 lbs., $2.14 per pound. In the long course of 
thirty-four years' housekeeping I never buttered my bread at so 
extravagant a rate. Good butter is almost an indispensable article 
in the family ; but there are many persons in New York as good as 

i;4 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [-litat. 55. 

myself who must be content to eat dry bread this winter, or at least 
to spread the children's slices confoundedly thin. 

December 2. — The message of the Governor of 

Governor Mc- ° 

Duffie's South Carolina to the Legislature is published in the 

Message. <^ Commercial Advertiser " of to-day. It is altogether 
worthy of the redoubtable champion of nullification, it " out-Herods 
Herod ; " it is made up of gunpowder bombs, blunderbusses, and 
hand-grenades. He has worked himself up into an exterminating 
passion, and it is impossible to read his speech without shivering 
with apprehension and looking around to see a fiery dragon issuing 
from the crater of a volcano ; and all this rage is excited on the 
subject of the silly abolitionists, who, from mistaken views of moral 
and religious duty, have been meddling in things which did not 
concern them. See now, infatuated men, what you have done ! 
Crittenden, of the Eagle Tavern, used to tell a story of a Yankee 
militia captain, who, in addressing his troops to " screw their cour- 
age to the sticking place," depicted in glowing terms the awful 
consequences which would result from the success of the enemy. 
"They will, gentlemen," said he, "lay your towns in ashes, ravish 
your wives, murder your children, and pull down your fences." So 
it may be said to the abolition meddlers, only the subject is almost 
too serious to joke about, and the application is only to be excused 
by Governor McDuffie's rhodomontade : — 

" See, you abolitionists, ye Tappans, ye Thompsons, see what you 
have done, — you have sown the seeds of discord amongst friends 
and brethren of different sections of our hitherto happy land ; you 
have sought to break down the solemn compact into which our 
fathers entered on the adoption of the Constitution ; you have caused 
your countrymen of the South to tremble for their safety and their 
lives, and — you have made Governor McDuffie angry." 

But in truth the temper of this document is ridiculous, and its ar- 
ginnents absurd. " It is my deliberate opinion," says the Governor, 
" that the laws of every community should punish this species of 
interference by dea//i without benefit of clergy, regarding the authors 


of it as enemies of the human race." He demands of the non- 
slaveholding States that they shall pass laws to punish, in the most 
exemplary manner, this nondescript and non-enumerated crime 
against the peace and dignity of South Carolina ; and they had 
better be pretty quick about it. Governor Marcy, when he reads 
the following sensible passage, will be derelict of duty if he does 
not anticipate the meeting of our Legislature, and call them together 
to pass laws for the hanging instanter all the vile miscreants who 
have offended Governor McDuffie : — 

" As between separate and independent nations the refusal of a 
State to punish these offensive proceedings against another, by its 
citizens or subjects, makes the State so refusing an accomplice in 
the outrage, z.vA fiu-nishes a. jus/ cause of war." A pretty pickle 
we of the North are going to be placed in ! Louis Philippe on one 
side, and Governor McDuffie on the other, ^^'e shall have to 
apologize to both ; the same formulae will do for both, with the 
alteration of "the State of New York" for " the United States." 

The course of reasoning in this message is not to prove that 
slavery is unavoidable, and cannot be abolished in the Southern 
States. Oh, no ! he scouts that idea. He goes the whole hog. 
Slavery an evil? By no means. It is a positive benefit to the com- 
munity, sanctified by God and man in all ages ; it promotes religion 
and morality, and, what is more wonderful still, it proves incontesta- 
bly the existence of liberty in its most fascinating shapes. The Gov- 
ernor does certainly work himself up into this absurd conclusion, 
and winds up his argument, like the stars which coruscate on the ex- 
plosion of a sky-rocket, with the following magnificent paragraph : — 

" Domestic slavery, therefore, instead of being a political evil, is 
the comer-stone of our republican edifice. No patriot who justly 
estimates our privileges will tolerate the idea of emancipation at 
any period, however remote, or on any conditions of pecuniary 
advantage, however favourable. I would as soon think of opening 
a negotiation for selling the liberty of the State at once, as for mak- 
ing any stipulation for the ultimate emancipation of our slaves. 

1/6 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

So deep is my conviction on this subject, that if I were doomed to 
die immediately after recording these sentiments, I could say, in all 
sincerity and under all the sanctions of Christianity and patriotism, 
' God forbid that my descendants in the remotest generations should 
live in any other than a community having the institution of do- 
mestic slavery as it existed among the patriarchs of the primitive 
church and in all the free states of antiquity ! ' " 

This Hotspur of the South having let off his steam by the safety- 
valve of this last flourish, and recovered his breath, turns suddenly 
around and vents the residuum of his vial of wrath upon poor Jack- 
son. What he says upon the subject, " though I most powerfully 
and potently believe," adds materially to the ludicrous wrath of 
this furious message. After telling the Legislature that he has not 
much to say on national affairs, and giving them the comfortable 
assurance that the corruption of the government will soon become 
incurable, he adds : " The chief magistrate of our imperial Re- 
public is at this moment more independent of public opinion, and 
wields a more despotic power, than either the King of Great Britain 
or the King of France, and it remains to be seen whether the peo- 
ple of the United States, like the degenerate Romans in the time 
of Tiberius, will recognize his right to nominate his successor, by 
raising to the throne the imperial, though not very youthful, Caesar, 
who has been already clothed in the purple with due solemnity, and 
formally presented to the people as the anointed and rightful heir 
to the succession." 

December 8. — I have seldom been so much shocked 

T T °c -.u by the sudden announcement of a death, or have real- 
judge Smith. ■' ' 

ized so fully the uncertainty of life, as in the case of 
Judge Smith, — Nathan Smith, Senator of the United States from 
Connecticut. Exactly a week ago I met him at Nevins and Town- 
send's office in Wall street, was introduced to and conversed with 
him a few minutes. I have always been struck with his appearance 
when I saw him in the Senate, and was much pleased to be made 
acquainted with him. 


When I went home I described him to the family, — a fine, hand- 
some, healthy-looking gentleman, aged sixty-six years, of great 
personal dignity, and of the old school in his dress ; a remnant of 
that race of men, the very form and fashion of whose clothes are a 
passport to deference and respect ; his white hair well powdered ; a 
handsome blue coat with shining gilt buttons ; drab kerseymere 
breeches and top-boots, the clean white tops of which were well 
contrasted by the elaborate black polish of the legs. Now that 
this worthy man has gone, I know of but one such pair of boots in 
American occupancy, and they are at present the admiration of 
Europe, on the well-formed legs of my learned and excellent friend, 
Dr. Mott, of this city. 

I dined to-day with Mr. Charles March ; a very pleasant party, 
but its crowning feature was Daniel Webster. I have never seen 
him so agreeable ; for five hours he was the life of the company ; 
cheerful, gay, full of anecdotes, and entirely free from a sort of 
gloomy abstraction in which I have sometimes seen him, as it were, 
envelop himself. He amused us with anecdotes of his early life, 
stories of down- East and descriptions of down- East men and man- 
ners ; talked wisdom enough to let us see that he was wise, but 
evidently preferred the light gossip in which he delights to pass the 
social hour. On public affairs Mr. Webster avowed his determina- 
tion to support the government in its stand against France. He 
says the President cannot make any explanation, and the honour of 
the country is concerned in his being borne out in his refusal. I 
inferred, however, from what he said on this subject (and he was 
quite free and communicative), that he does not apprehend any im- 
mediate difficulties of a serious nature, and appears to think that 
the French will yet do right. 

December 10. — Married last evening, December 9, 

Weddings. Peter Augustus Schermerhom, second son of Peter 

Schermerhorn, to Adeline Emily, youngest daughter of 

the late Henry A. Coster. The wedding took place at Dr. Hosack's. 

We were all there ; a large company was assembled. The Scher- 

1/8 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

merhorns, the Costers, the Hosacks, and the Hones, all the links 
of several long chains, form a goodly number when they are col- 
lected together on such an occasion. The ceremony was performed 
by the Rev. Mr. Sherwood, the respectable pastor of the Episcopal 
church at Hyde Park. The wedding supper was sumptuous, but 
no part of it so superb as the products of the doctor's greenhouse, 
which graced the upper end of the table. 

Mrs. Hosack has now married the last of her daughters, and I 
am released from the guardianship of the last of my seven wards. 
I have had the principal management of their property for the last 
fourteen years, and am now preparing my accounts for a settlement 
with the last heir. The bride is very young, only seventeen years 
old on the i8th of May last. 

December i i . — The prevalence of westerly winds during the 
present cold weather has deprived us of news from Europe. The 
packet from Havre of the 24th of October has not arrived. This 
delay, though not unusual at this time of the year, occasions some 
anxiety in the present excited state of the public mind with regard 
to the dispute with France. It is understood that Mr. Barton has 
orders to make a formal demand of the indemnity, and in case of 
refusal, to break off the negotiation by returning home, in which 
event Mr. Pageot, the French Charge d' Affaires at Washington, 
will hand in his P.P.C., and both parties will draw off their diplo- 
matic forces. Mr. Barton is expected to arrive in one of the first 
packets. I have, however, a more interesting reason to note the 
non-intercourse with France occasioned by storms and head-winds. 
It is sixty-four days since my daughters sailed, and we begin to be 
anxious for news from them. The first change of wind will bring it. 
December 15. — The practice of duelling has in- 
Dueiiing. creased to such a degree in the South and West, and is 
marked with such savage ferocity and deadly determi- 
nation, as to form a stigma upon the national character. It seems 
impossible to carry on a political election, which is in any degree 
warmly contested, without an excitement of feeling leading to quar- 


rels amongst the most active partisans, and most frequently be- 
tween the candidates themselves, which nothing but blood will 
settle. Scarcely a day passes that our newspapers do not contain 
accounts of some of those sanguinary semi-barbarous conflicts, 
and these Southern and Western men, like the brant shooters of 
Long Island, do not like to waste powder and ball for nothing. 
The order of combat is such as to preclude the chance of both the 
combatants escaping ; it is not children's play ; one at least, and 
frequently both, seal their political faith and write their title to 
fame in blood which could be better employed in defending their 
native soil and supporting the liberties of their country ; and this 
practice unhappily prevails amongst the finest fellows in the com- 
munity, the choice spirits possessing all those high qualities re- 
quired to develop the resources and establish the institutions 
of a new country. But the vitiated taste of the people seems to 
require that a man in that part of the country should fight his way 
up to public notice, and his claim to serve his fellow-citizens is 
not so well established by talents, virtue, and patriotism, as by 
having " killed his man." The foregoing remarks have been sug- 
gested at this time by the publication in the " National Intelligen- 
cer" of a letter from Florida, giving an account of a desperate duel, 
fought on the 21st of November, between Captain Everett White, 
brother of Colonel White, the delegate to Congress from Florida, 
and Colonel A. Bellamy, late president of the legislative council, 
arising out of the circumstances of an election in which they were 
rival candidates, and White had been elected. The regulations 
of this combat were such as to render a fatal result inevitable. 
" The parties were to stand sixty feet apart, each with four pistols, 
and to advance and fire. Captain White advanced and received 
three shots without injury, and then fired at a distance of fifteen 
paces. His first shot passed through Colonel Bellamy's arm, the 
next through his body, and in the act of advancing with the other 
two pistols he received a mortal wound from Colonel Bellamy's 


fourth pistol. Colonel Bellamy is not yet dead, but must certainly 
die of his wounds." 

In this manner have the gentlemen proved themselves men of 
honour and courage, and their fellow-citizens sanction the act which 
has deprived them of one, at least, of their distinguished men, by 
their expressions of sorrow, unmingled with the slightest disappro- 
bation of the savage practice which occasioned the catastrophe. 
The letter goes on to say : " I yesterday performed the painful 
office of following Captain White to the grave. The Court ad- 
journed, and the funeral was attended by the Bar and the grand 
jury in a body. Every testimony of respect and deep-felt interest 
was evinced by the whole population of the place. All the stores 
were shut, and I have seldom witnessed a more general and sincere 
exhibition of sorrow than was manifested on this solemn occasion." 
„ , , December 17. — How shall I record the events of 

Unparalleled ' 

Calamity by last night, or how attempt to describe the most awful 
^"^' calamity which has ever visited these United States? 

The greatest loss by fire that has ever been known, with the ex- 
ception perhaps of the conflagration of Moscow, and that was 
an incidental concomitant of war. I am fatigued in body, dis- 
turbed in mind, and my fancy filled with images of horror which 
my pen is inadequate to describe. Nearly one-half of the first 
ward is in ashes, five hundred to seven hundred stores, which 
with their contents are valued at $20,000,000 to $40,000,000, are 
now lying in an indistinguishable mass of ruins. There is not, 
perhaps, in the world the same space of ground covered by so 
great an amount of real and personal property as the scene of 
this dreadful conflagration. The fire broke out at nine o'clock last 
evening. I was writing in the library when the alarm was given, 
and went immediately down. The night was intensely cold, 
which was one cause of the unprecedented progress of the flames, 
for the water froze in the hydrants, and the engines and their hose 
could not be worked without great difficulty. The firemen, too, 


had been on duty all last night, and were almost incapable of per- 
forming their usual services. The fire originated in the store of 
Comstock & Adams, in Merchant street, — a narrow, crooked street, 
filled with high stores lately erected and occupied by dry-goods 
and hardware merchants, which led from Hanover to Pearl street. 
When I arrived at the spot the scene exceeded all description ; the 
progress of the flames, like flashes of lightning, communicated in 
every direction, and a few minutes sufficed to level the lofty edi- 
fices on every side. It crossed the block to Pearl street. I per- 
ceived that the store of my son was in danger, and made the best 
of my way, by Front street around the old Slip, to the spot. We 
succeeded in getting out the stock of valuable dry goods, but they 
were put in the square, and in the course of the night our labours 
were rendered unavailing, for the fire reached and destroyed them, 
with a great part of all which were saved from the neighbouring 
stores; this part of Pearl street consisted of dry-goods stores, 
with stocks of immense value, of which little or nothing was saved. 
At this period the flames were unmanageable, and the crowd, in- 
cluding the firemen, appeared to look on with the apathy of de- 
spair, and the destruction continued until it reached Coenties Slip, 
in that direction, and Wall street down to the river, including all 
South street and Water street ; while to the west. Exchange street, 
including all Post's stores. Lord's beautiful row, William street, 
Beaver and Stone streets, were destroyed. The splendid edifice 
erected a few years ago by the liberality of the merchants, known 
as the Merchants' Exchange, and one of the ornaments of the city, 
took fire in the rear, and is now a heap of ruins. The facade 
and magnificent marble columns fronting on ^^■all street are all 
that remain of this noble building, and resemble the ruins of an 
ancient temple rather than the new and beautiful resort of the 
merchants. When the dome of this edifice fell in, the sight was 
awfully grand ; in its fall it demolished the statue of Hamilton, 
executed by Ball Hughes, which was erected in the rotunda only 
eight months ago, by the public spirit of the merchants. 

l82 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^tat. 55. 

It would be an idle task to attempt an enumeration of the 
sufferers ; in the number are most of my nearest friends and of my 
family ; my son John, my son-in-law Schermerhom, and my nephew 
Isaac S. Hone, and Samuel S. Rowland were all burnt out. 

The buildings covered an area of a quarter of a mile square, 
closely built up with fine stores of four and five stories in height, 
filled with merchandise, all of which lie in a mass of burning, smok- 
ing ruins, rendering the streets indistinguishable. 

All the property within the following limits is destroyed : south 
side of Wall street from William street to East river, including the 
Merchants' Exchange, and excepting three or four unfinished build- 
ings above Pearl street ; Exchange street, both sides, from Broad 
street, crossing William to Merchant street ; Merchant street, both 
sides, from Wall street to Hanover square ; Pearl street, both sides, 
from Wall street to Coenties Slip, with the whole sweep of Han- 
over square. Stone street, and Beaver street, nearly to Broad street ; 
Water street. Front street, and South street, with all the intersect- 
ing streets and lanes from Wall street to Coenties Slip, including 
the south side of Coffee House Slip. A large portion of the valua- 
ble estates of the Jones and Schermerhorn families was within 
these limits, and is not now to be found. The fire has been burning 
all day in the direction of Coenties Slip, and was not fairly gotten 
under until towards evening. 

A calculation is made in the " Commercial " this afternoon 
that the number of buildings burned is 5 70, and that the whole 
loss is something over $15,000,000. The insurance offices 
are all, of course, bankrupt, their collective capitals amount to 
$11,750,000; but those down-town have a large proportion of the 
risks, and will not be able to pay fifty per cent, of the losses. The 
unfortunate stockholders lose all. In this way I suffer directly, 
and in others indirectly, to a large amount. 

The Mayor, who has exerted himself greatly in this fearful emer- 
gency, called the Common Council together this afternoon for the 
purpose of establishing private patrols for the protection of the 

iS35.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 1 83 

city ; for if another fire should break out before the firemen have 
recovered from the fatigues of the last two nights, and the engines 
and hose be repaired from the effects of the frost, it would be 
impossible to arrest its progress. Several companies of uniformed 
militia and a company of United States marines are under arms, to 
protect the property scattered over the lower part of the city. 

I have been alarmed by some of the signs of the times which 
this calamity has brought forth ; the miserable wretches who 
prowled about the ruins and became beastly drunk on the cham- 
pagne and other wines and liquors with which the streets and 
wharv^es were lined, seemed to exult in the misfortune, and such 
expressions were heard as, " Ah ! they'll make no more five per 
cent, dividends," and "This will make the aristocracy haul in their 
horns." Poor, deluded wretches ! — little do they know that their 
own horns " live, and move, and have their being " in these very 
horns of the aristocracy, as their instigators teach them to call it. 
This cant is the very text from which their leaders teach their de- 
luded followers. It forms part of the warfare of the poor against 
the rich, — a warfare which is destined, I fear, to break the hearts 
of some of the politicians of Tammany Hall, who have used these 
men to answer a temporary purpose, and find now that the dogs 
chey have taught to bark will bite them as soon as their political 

These remarks are not so much the result of what I have heard 
of the conduct and conversations of the rabble at the fire as of 
what I witnessed this afternoon at the Bank for Savings. There 
was an immediate run upon the bank by a gang of low Irishmen, 
who demanded their money in a peremptory and threatening man- 
ner. At this season there is usually a great preponderance of 
deposits over the drafts, the first of January being the day on 
which the balances are made up of the semi-annual dividend. 
All the sums now drawn lose nearly six months' interest, which the 
bank gains ; these Irishmen, however, insisted upon having their 
money, and when they received it were evidently dL^appointed 

I 84 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [/Etat. 55. 

and would fain have put it back again. Tliis class of men are the 
most ignorant, and consequently the most obstinate, white men in 
the world, and I have seen enough to satisfy me that, with few 
exceptions, ignorance and vice go together. These men, rejoicing 
in the calamity which has ruined so many institutions and individ- 
uals, thought it a fine opportunity to use the power v/hich their 
dirty money gave them to add to the general distress, and sought to 
embarrass this excellent institution, which had been established for 
the sole benefit of the poor ; but they have not the sense to under- 
stand, nor hearts to respond to> the benevolent feelings which 
prompt the managers of the savings-banks to devote their whole 
time and labour for the benefit of others. Now comes the most 
painful of all the reflections which arise out of this unnatural state 
of society. These Irishmen, strangers among us, without a feeling 
of patriotism or affection in common with American citizens, decide 
the elections in the city of New York. They make presidents and 
governors, and they send men to represent us in the councils of 
the nation, and, what is worse than all, their importance in these 
matters is derived from the use which is made of them by political 
demagogues, who despise the tools they work with. Let them 
look to it ; the time may not be very distant when the same brogue 
which they have instructed to shout " Hurrah for Jackson ! " shall 
be used to impart additional horror to the cry of " Down with 
the natives ! " 

December 18. — I went out this morning with my 
Dr. Hosack. y^ife to vicw the sccnc of the recent conflagration ; but 
we had proceeded only a short distance when we met 
Robert Benson, who informed us that Dr. Hosack, the elder, had 
been seized a few moments previous with a fit of apoplexy. We of 
course returned, and I went immediately around to his house ; and 
what a scene was there ! What an awful instance of the uncer- 
tainty of life and the instability of human happiness ! Here was 
the doctor laid upon a sofa, insensible to all around him, his limbs 
paralyzed, his faculties suspended, and his large and estimable 

1S35.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 1 85 

family surrounding his couch, with despair and anguish depicted in 
every countenance. Two days before, the very room in which he 
lies was the scene of festivity. The bride (Mrs. Schermerhom) was 
receiving the visits of her friends, and I was there, a joyful witness 
of the happiness of both families. Since that time, in a space of 
less than forty-eight hours, Mrs. Berryman, the daughter of Mr. 
John G. Coster, has died suddenly. The calamity under which the 
city now suffers so severely has fallen heavily upon every branch 
of the connection. The splendid estate of the bride, which I was 
about to transfer to her husband, has been most seriously 
encroached upon by the same cause ; and the highly respected 
head of her family, from being in the full possession of his bodily 
and mental faculties, lies extended on his bed of death, pros- 
trated in an instant, in a situation which seems to preclude all 
hopes of recovery. 

Further DECEMBER 1 9. — I wcnt ycstcrday and to-day to see 

Particulars thc uiins. It is an awful sight. The whole area from 
of the Fire. ^y^^jj g^.^.^^^ ^^ Cocntics Slip, boundcd by Broad street 
to the river, with the exception of Broad street, the Wall-street 
front between William and Broad, and the blocks bounded by 
Broad street. Pearl street, the south side of Coenties Slip and South 
street, are now a mass of smoking ruins. 

It is gratifying to witness the spirit and firmness ■with which the 
merchants meet this calamity. There is no despondency ; every 
man is determined to go to work to redeem his loss, and all are 
ready to assist their more unfortunate neighbours. A meeting of 
citizens was held this day, at noon, at the Session Court-room, on 
the call of the Mayor. A committee of one hundred and twenty- 
five was appointed, which met in the evening at the Mayor's office 
and appointed sub-committees on each branch of duty submitted 
to them. I am of the committee to make application for relief to 
the State government. That committee is to meet to-morrow 
evening at my house. The utmost spirit and harmony prevailed at 
the meeting, which embraced all the best and most inllucntial men 

l86 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [-Etat. 55. 

in the city. During the evening intelHgence was brought in of the 
proceedings of a great meeting held yesterday in Philadelphia, at 
which the Mayor presided. Amongst other things a resolution was 
passed calling upon the general government to appropriate the sum 
of $12,000,000 to our relief. This is an important step, for it will 
tend to remove the only objection to such a measure, — that of its 
being exclusive and partial in its operation. A body of four hun- 
dred Philadelphia firemen came on yesterday to relieve our firemen. 
They are to be seen about the streets and in the neighbourhood of 
the fire, in their peculiar uniform. This is truly a brotherly kind- 
ness and charity, and will never be forgotten. 

Companies of soldiers are on guard all the time, and patrols of 
citizens are formed in each ward, who are on duty during the 
night ; the exhausted state of the firemen and the disabled con- 
dition of their apparatus render these extraordinary measures 
necessary. A fire would be awful at this moment. The in- 
surance offices are all bankrupt, and every man is his own under- 

The Merchants' Exchange is held at the Mechanics' Exchange 
in Broad street ; the post-office removed to the rotunda in Cham- 
bers street. The printing-offices, of which a large number are 
burned out, are distributed into different places, and it is amusing 
to see the holes and corners into which the merchants have stowed 

Mr. Biddle, President of the Bank of the United States, came on 
to-day to see what that institution could do for us. The first step 
must be to turn the bonds and mortgages held by the insurance 
companies into cash, to enable them to pay as much as they can of 
their losses. But the unfortunate stockholders, what is to become 
of them? 

The following are the sub-committees appointed at the meeting 
of the general committee this evening: i. Committee to ascertain 
the extent and probable value of property destroyed, and how far 
the sufferers are protected by insurance : Nathaniel Weed, Gabriel 


P. Dissosway, Brittain L. Woolley, George S. Robbins, Walter R. 
Jones, Isaac S. Hone. 

2. Committee on application to Congress for an extension of 
credit on duty bonds, and remission of duties, and on such other 
aid as it may be expedient to ask of the general government : 
Albert Gallatin, Preser\'ed Fish, George Griswold, John T. Irving, 
Louis McLane, James G. King, Reuben Withers, Cornelius W. 
Lawrence, Samuel Jones. 

3. Committee on application to the State and city government : 
Enos T. Throop, John L. Graham, John A. Stevens, Charles H. 
Russell, Thomas J. Oakley, Philip Hone, Daniel Jackson, Benjamin 
L. Swan. 

4. Committee on the origin and cause of the fire : James B. 
Murray, George Douglass, James Lee, David Bryson, Marcus Wilbur. 

5. Committee on change in the regulation of the streets : Samuel 
B. Ruggles, Jonathan Goodhue, David S. Jones, John Haggerty, 
John S. Crary. 

6. Committee on the erection of buildings and the arrangement 
of the fire department : Stephen Allen, Peter G. Stuyvesant, John 
Leonard, Benjamin Strong, Charles A. Davis, George D. Strong, 
Prosper M. Wetraore, Seth Geer, George Ireland, James J. Roose- 
velt, Jr., Dudley Selden, and Stephen Whitney. 

7. Committee on reUef, with power to receive and distribute 
contributions : Samuel Cowdry, Jacob Lorillard, Samuel S. Howland, 
Benjamin McVickar, M.D., John J. Boyd, William T. McCoun, 
Ogden Hoffman, William L. Stone, Jacob Harvey, Thaddeus Phelps, 
John W. Leavitt, James Boorman, Edward Prime. 

December 21. — The sub-committee on the subjects of applica- 
tions to the State and city governments met last evening at my 
house and agreed to a report recommending an application to the 
Legislature to issue a State stock, under the guarantee of the cor- 
poration, of six millions of dollars, and the appointment of a com- 
mittee of five to go to Albany and confer with the Governor on the 
facts to be laid before the Legislature. The general committee met 

l88 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat.55. 

this evening ; our report was accepted, but the resokitions amended 
so as to call upon the corporation to issue their bonds for $6,000,000, 
to create a fund for the purpose of buying up the bonds and mort- 
gages held by the insolvent fire insurance companies, and thereby 
enable them to pay their losses as far as they may be able. 

December 22. — The weather since the fire has become more 
mild. This day is very pleasant. This is a happy circumstance, 
for it facilitates the labors of an immense number of workmen who 
are employed in removing the rubbish. Goods and property of 
every description are found under the ruins in enormous quantities, 
but generally so much damaged as to be hardly worth saving. 
Cloths, silks, laces, prints of the most valuable kinds, are dug out 
partly burned, and nearly all ruined. A mountain of coffee lies at 
the corner of old Slip and South street. The entire cargo of teas, 
arrived a few days since in the ship " Paris," lies in a state hot 
worth picking up, and costly indigo and rich drugs add to the mass 
of mud which obstructs the streets. 

Crowds of spectators (amongst whom are many ladies) have 
been perambulating the streets in the neighbourhood, lost in wonder 
and absorbed in horror at the awful scene of destruction. Many 
curious facts are now coming to light in relation to the fire. A 
note of hand of fifty-seven dollars, in favour of the Ocean Insur- 
ance Company, was blown, during the fire, from a store in South 
street to a garden at Flatbush, Long Island, five miles distant. A 
gallant effort was made to save the statue of Hamilton by a young 
officer from the Navy- Yard, with a party of four or -five sailors. 
They had actually succeeded in removing it from the pedestal, 
when the danger of the approaching fall of the dome compelled 
them to abandon it. The fire was seen at New Haven and at 
Philadelphia ; the firemen turned out, supposing the fire was in the 
suburbs of the city. 

December 23. — Hopes have been entertained that 
Death of -Qj.^ Hosack might survive his attack. There was an 

Dr. llosack. • ° 

appearance of consciousness and a slight improvement 


in his symptoms during the whole of yesterday ; but it would have 
been better otherwise, for it excited false hopes in his anxious 
family, which were doomed to be destroyed, for at eleven o'clock 
last night he died. He has never spoken since his attack, and it 
is quite doubtful if he has at any time recognized those about him. 
Thus has the house of joy been suddenly turned into the house of 

Dr. Hosack was born on the 31st of August, 1769. He has 
passed an active and useful life, and filled a large space in society. 
In his profession he was learned, skilful, and bold, and, in my 
opinion, the best physician in the city. I remember him from my 
earliest years ; the physician of my father's family, and he has 
always been mine. His literary acquirements were of a high order, 
and although not a man of great genius, his industry and acquire- 
ments had rendered him a good writer. His style was correct and 
strong, without elegance, and his great experience will render his 
works respectable authorities to professional men. He retired a 
few years ago from general practice, and resided two-thirds of the 
year on his splendid estate at Hyde Park. His wife, the widow of 
Henry A. Coster, is my first cousin, by whom he became possessed of 
a large estate. She had seven children, of whom I was appointed 
guardian on the death of Mr. Coster. 

Christmas Day, but not by any means " a merry Christmas." 
The recent calamity bears so hard upon the whole community 
that it seems unfeeling to be joyful. Philosophy enables many of 
us to bear our own misfortunes without repining, -and hope spreads 
its buoyant wings over the future ; but as all are not equally con- 
soled by the former, or encouraged by the latter, respect for 
individual loss restrains all the appearance of mirth which belongs 
to this otherwise happy season. 

I attended, as a relation, the funeral of Dr. Hosack, 
Dr. Hosack's ^^ ^j^^ o'clock. The scrvicc was read in Grace Church 

Funeral. , t-. 1 

by the Bishop and Dr. Ducachet. It was very impres- 
sive ; the large family connection and the great number of friends 

190 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [/Etat.55. 

which attended filled the church. The pall-bearers were, Colonel 
Trumbull, Mr. John Watts, Herman LeRoy, Edward W. Laight, 
Edward Livingston, Charles McEvers, Chancellor Kent, and Gen. 
Morgan Lewis. 



A LBANY, Jan. i. — It makes me somewhat melancholy to re- 
-^ ^ fleet that this is the first New Year's Day, except one, that I 
ever passed from home, and that one was passed at sea, on my 
return from Europe, I am here against my will. I would much 
rather have spent this day with my family and in the society of my 
friends ; but, alas ! it is not a happy day in New York. 

The year 1835 is passed; it began well ; the city prospered, and 
all went on swimmingly until its close. But now many aching 
hearts are in our borders. What blighted prospects, what disap- 
pointed hopes ! The calamity of the night of the i6th has re- 
duced thousands from comparative independence to cheerless 
poverty. Not the poorest class, for if they were burned out, and 
exposed to the inclemency of the biting blasts of winter, a good 
fire, a warm bed, and plenty to eat and drink, as a temporary relief, 
would make them as well off as they were before : " take nothing 
from nothing and nothing remains ; " but this loss falls upon those 
who were accustomed to enjoy the comforts and little elegances 
of life, which must now be given up. 

January 4. — I went yesterday morning with Mr. Stevenson to 
St. Peter's Church, and was so much pleased with the sermon from 
the Rev. Mr. Potter that I was induced to go again in the after- 
noon, although the hour, two o'clock, affords but a brief allowance 
of time for dinner. The church has been repaired and new 
modelled ; has a new organ and pulpit, and the handsomest, most 
comfortable, and best-arranged pews I have seen in any of our 
churches. There is a large and respectable congregation, and if 
their pastor is in the practice of giving them such sermons as I 
heard yesterday, they have no reason to be dissatisfied. 

January 4. — Whilst I was writing in my room this evening 

192 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.Etat. 56. 

there was an alarm of fire. Two or three wooden houses were 
burned in the upper part of Market street. It was quite a re- 
freshing sight, for it reminded me of home. It was a mark of civ- 
iHzation in a strange country, as the traveller said, who saw a man 
hanging on a gibbet. 

The bills authorizing the city loan of six millions, 
Relief Bills, and for enabling the fire-insurance companies to settle 
- their concerns and to resuscitate their businesses, have 
passed the Legislature with great unanimity. 

New York, Jan. 16. — I went, this morning, to dine with Mr. 
John C. Stevens at his place on Long Island, about eleven miles 
from Brooklyn, and three miles from the race-course on the South 
road. Charles King, General Fleming, and Cornelius Low went 
with me in my sleigh. We arrived at Stevens's about three 
o'clock ; had a most capital dinner, fine wine, good fires, and 
plenty of laugh, joke, and joviality. We found, on our arrival, 
John A. King, Commodore Ridgely, Mr. Botts, and Robert L. 

At half-past eight we started to return. It was very dark and 
had become excessively cold, and the road, being but little used, 
was hard to be distinguished. John soon planted us in a snow- 
bank, from which we extricated the sleigh and horses with some 
difficulty. King then undertook to drive, and had not proceeded 
above a mile when the darkness of the night, the narrowness and 
indistinctness of the road, and John Stevens's good wine combined 
to bother the skill of our new driver, and over went the sleigh. I 
was slightly scratched in the face and bled a little, but the rest of 
the party were uninjured. The sleigh was broken a little. We 
now held council of war, and concluded to return to the " place 
whence we came." This was accomplished without difficulty; our 
friends were still assembled, and a few hickory logs added to the 
fire, a renewal of the bottles and glasses, a reproduction of the re- 
mains of the dinner to serve as supper, and a cigar afterward, 
brought us to the sensible conclusion that it was better to be there 


than in a snow-bank. After a few hours passed in pleasant con- 
versation John A. King went home to Jamaica, taking with him 
General Fleming, Mr. Low, and Mr. Botts ; Charles King, Com- 
modore Ridgely, and I were well accommodated with good beds in 
the house of our hospitable host. 

We had breakfast this morning at eight o'clock, and started for 
home. A fine, bright morning, but very cold. Charles King was 
sick ; the Commodore had an unwelcome visit from an old acquaint- 
ance, — the gout, — which prevented him from putting on his boot, 
and I, who was the only sick man who went upon this pleasant frolic, 
returned the only well one. We left the Commodore at the Navy- 
Yard and arrived in town at eleven o'clock. 

The following party dined with us : Mr. and Mrs. Boreel, Mr. 
and Mrs. Charles Brugiere, Miss Helen Kane, Captain Anthony, 
of the " Poland," Mr. Nicolson, Henry Hone, and Edward Scher- 

J..^NU.\RY 20. — I went over to dine with Mr. John A. King, at 
Jamaica. Charles and James A. King and General Fleming went 
with me, in my sleigh. Besides ourselves, the party consisted of 
Robert Ray, Jacob LeRoy, Robert L. and John C. Stevens, and Mr. 
Nicholas. The weather was very fine and the sleighing admirable. 
On our return we came to Brooklyn ferry at ten o'clock, but found 
two steamboats there, blocked in by the ice, which detained us 
nearly three hours, and I did not get home until one o'clock. 

There is an ill-looking, squinting man called Bennett, 
'^^'^ formerly connected with Webb in the publication of 

"Herald." '' '■ 

his paper, who is now editor of the " Herald," one of 
the penny papers which are hawked about the streets by a gang 
of troublesome, ragged boys, and in which scandal is retailed 'to all 
who delight in it, at that moderate price. This man and Webb are 
now bitter enemies, and it was nuts for Bennett to be the organ of 
Mr. Lynch's late vituperative attack upon Webb, which Bennett 
introduced in his paper with evident marks of savage exultation. 
This did not suit Mr. Webb's fiery disposition, so he attacked 

194 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 56. 

Bennett in Wall street yesterday, beat him, and knocked him down. 
In the mean time Webb and Lynch maintain a relative position 
something like that of France and the United States : they carry clubs, 
but do not strike ; and look fierce at each other, but do not speak. 
They cannot adjust their pecuniary differences in an honourable 
manner, for each considers the other unworthy of his notice. 
None but men of acknowledged honour and good character are 
entitled to the privilege of having their brains blown out. If 
Lynch and Webb are both men of truth they are liars, and if 
neither is to be believed they are both honourable men. 

The Opera House was offered this morning for sale 
Opera House. ^^ auction, uudcr the direction of Gardiner G. Rowland 
and Robert Ray, trustees. It was set up at $100,000 ; 
but there was no bid, and the sale was postponed. The articles 
of association designated the Merchants' Exchange as the place of 
sale, if ever it should be found necessary to dispose of the prop- 
erty. As there is unfortunately no such edifice at present, it was 
deemed necessary to have the sale on the porch, which is all that 
remains of that edifice. It was a melancholy illustration of the 
decay of commerce and taste to witness the auctioneer, mounted 
on the ruins of the Merchants' Exchange, endeavouring to sell the 
Italian Opera-House to the highest bidder. 

January 21. — I dined with Mr. Henry Gary. We had Irving, 
Paulding, Brevoort, Gouverneur Kemble, Doctor Stevens, Pro- 
fessor Renwick, and such literary and learned men ; and, as is 
always the case, it was excessively stupid. There were more 
brilliant things said at John Stevens's the other day, when it was a 
party of no pretension, than could be elicited from these learned 
pundits in the course of a long life, and one of any of the thousand 
hearty laughs which we had on that occasion was worth all the 
wisdom of such a reunion. Washington Irving was the only man 
who ventured to say a good thing. 

January 26. — The "Poland," Captain Anthony, sails to-day for 
Havre. In her go Monsieur Pageot, his lady, and their little son 


Andrew Jackson, Mr. Saligny, attache, and all the odds and ends 
of the French Mission. We are no longer on speaking terms with 
our dear friend and sister, France, and like two rival dames, who 
are desperately affronted without exactly knowing the cause, we 
stand pouting, turning up our noses, and tossing our disdainful 
heads at each other. The Lord knows who is to speak first now, 
and woe betide the one who first treads on the other's corns. 
What a ridiculous and unnatural position ! 

Madame Pageot is an American lady, daughter of Major Lewis, 
who is in one of our public departments in Washington. Her 
father being one of the kitchen Cabinet and a glorifier of " the 
greatest and best," and everything being sweet as sugar-candy 
between the two countries at the birth of her boy, it was deter- 
mined to fill the measure of his infantile glory by giving him the 
august name of "Andrew Jackson." This was honour enough as 
long as the parents continued in this country, and affairs went on 
smoothly ; but now, when the mighty brow of the warrior states- 
man is kindled with rage against our Gallic neighbours, and the 
presence of France in the person of her representative's repre- 
sentative is about to be removed from amongst us, the name of 
this young American Frenchman may not sound so pleasantly in 
the ears of his father's compatriots as in the land of his birth, and 
Andrew Jackson Pageot will not be the best possible name by which 
to be ushered into the regal halls of Louis Philippe d'Orl^ans. 

Jaxuary 27. — Reports have prevailed for the last 
" '^" two or three days of the massacre of two companies 

Massacre. ■' ^ 

of United States troops in Florida, by the Seminole 
Indians! It was hoped that they might not be true, but the ac- 
count is confirmed to-day by intelligence from Mobile. Major 
Dade had started with two companies from Tampa Bay, for Camp 
King, to join General Church, when on the morning of 28th of De- 
cember, at eight o'clock, they were surrounded by a large body of 
Indians, supposed to number from eight hundred to one thousand 
men, and were cut to pieces ; only three men escaped, and they 


returned, badly wounded, to the station at Tampa Bay, to give the 
lamentable history of the fate of their comrades. 

It is also reported that General Scott is to be sent immediately 
to take command of the forces in Florida ; the result of all this will 
be that, after some hard service and destruction of the lives and 
property of the whites, the Indians will be exterminated, and the 
government saved the expense of transporting them out of our ter- 
ritories and providing for their maintenance. Humanity may de- 
plore the fate of the red men, and philanthropists talk as they will 
about equal rights and the oppression of power, but it is inevitable ; 
the Indians cannot live amongst, or in the immediate neighbourhood 
of, the whites, and this very battle in which temporary success has 
been won by their savage arms will be the ultimate cause of their 
destruction ; the blood of the gallant men who have fallen in this 
sanguinary encounter will not sink unrevenged into the sands of 
Florida, and the speculators in Florida lands will be consoled for 
this national disaster by the confirmation of their titles in the final 
removal of the ©riginal owners of their lands. 

February i. — The war of etiquette between the 
Peace. United States and France is in a fair way now of being 

averted, and the trusty sword of " the hero of two wars," 
there is good reason to hope, will be permitted reluctantly to 
remain in its scabbard. John Bull, like a good, honest fellow, who 
never likes any fighting to go on and he not have a hand in it, has 
interposed his good offices and proffered his mediation to settle the 
silly dispute. He says there is nothing to quarrel about, and he 
does not want his commerce, flourishing as it is at present, to be 
knocked about by new belligerents, nor does he wish to have the 
trouble and expense attending the preservation of an armed neu- 
trality between the two most important maritime powers. So the 
King of England, the sailor king, writes a loving letter to his 
brother, the soldier king (we call him President), begging him to 
think a little better of the affair ; and I suppose that noble old cock. 
Sir Charles Vaughan, has added a postscript, telling his Yankee 

1S36.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 197 

friends (of whom he has great store) that they must not make 
damned fools of themselves. (I use this expression, not that I think 
it looks as pretty on the page of a book as a rose does in a flower- 
garden, but to preserve the verisimilitude ; for I should hardly rec- 
ognize my excellent friend, Sir Charles, even when drawn by myself, 
if he was not ushered in by one of those harmless, but very charac- 
teristic, expletives.) So the king and Sir Charles send over a 
king's ship in midwinter, " The Pantaloons " (in former times she 
ought to have gone to the other side first, the French being then 
sans-culottes ; her very name would have made them feel comforta- 
ble), and she brings a messenger, who confers with my good friend 
Bankhead. He delivers the pacific missives. The " greatest and 
best," albeit full of fight, his "ever-pointed" hair bristling defiance 
against Louis Philippe and all that belongs to him, cannot find it in 
his heart to disgrace such friendly wooing, or in his conscience to 
send the messenger " back as he came ; " so he becomes for the first 
time in his life amenable to reason, sends back a favourable answer, 
without consulting anybody. (Why should he ? How can consulta- 
tion and advisement enlighten the focus of America's glory?) The 
vessel returns forthwith, the business will be settled, France will 
pay the twenty- five millions of francs and America pocket it, 
without any wear and tear of national honour and dignity on either 
side, and England will have the credit of acting like a kind friend 
and good neighbour, and keep clear of a contingent scrape in the 

Nothing certain is known about this business, for our guardian 
angel with upright hair holds it derogatory to his dignity to share 
" responsibility " with anybody. The people need not know any- 
thing about such matters until it suits him to tell them, and he is 
sure of their hurrahs in every supposable case ; but public opinion 
seems to have settled the question ; men have taken counsel from 
their hopes, and cry Peace ! Peace ! God send that it may be so ; 
and I cry Hurrah for William the Fourth and Andrew Jackson, the 
mediator and the mediatee / 

1 98 THE DIARY OF I'lIILIP HONE. [/Etat. 56. 

February 6. — The following gentlemen dined with us, and sat 
honestly, like good fellows, until the " noon- of night : " Mr. J. 
W. Wallack, George Barclay, Samuel Hay, Charles A. Davis, 
James G. King, Benjamin E. Bremner, Robert Ray, William L. 
Miller, Frederick Norton, Washington Irving, Henry Brevoort, and 
Henry Hone. 

February 12. — The " Erie " and the " Rhone " arrived to-day 
from Havre, the latter bringing letters to the 9th of January. The 
President's message had arrived in Paris. It was received with joy 
and exultation by the Americans, and is considered by the govern- 
ment and the chambers as removing all the obstacles in the way of 
carrying into effect the treaty of indemnification. These arrivals 
bring us letters from Paris, which we have been without for three 
weeks, owing to the horrible weather, which has kept all vessels 
from entering the harbour. The Americans in Paris are elated at 
the eclat which attended the reception of the message. Mary 
writes that she intends to shout " Hurrah for Jackson ! " as long as 
she lives. His usual good luck has attended him throughout this 
whole affair, wrong as he may have been in the commencement. 
The French have managed so badly as to place him on the vantage- 
ground in every succeeding step, and circumstances have conspired 
to give him the power to trump the last trick and win the game 
whenever he pleased, without compromising his own pride or the 
national character. 

February 13. — By the bye, I think the merchants are wrong 
in opposing so strenuously the wishes of the up-town people to have 
the Post-Office somewhere in the vicinity of the City Hall park. 
The Custom-House and the Exchange are properly located in Wall 
street, for they are exclusively devoted to the merchants, and their 
wishes should alone be consulted on the subject ; but it is not so 
with the Post-Office. Many persons in the upper wards are in the 
habit of receiving letters, — not so many, certainly, as the Howlands 
and the Griswolds, but enough to give them a right to a say in the 
matter. But the strongest argument is one of policy, and in disre- 


garding it the merchants are short-sighted ; the numerical strength 
of the upper wards is so great that they control our elections, and 
have on all municipal questions a controlling voice. They have 
been foiled in one or two affLiirs of this kind, and are somewhat 
savage at this determination of the "moneyed aristocracy" (for that 
is the term which the cant of the demagogues applies to the mer- 
chants) to keep the Post-Office to themselves ; they would consent 
to a compromise which would place this establishment near the 
park (the site of the present Bridewell would be a grand place, 
and a building similar to the Record Office would make a splen- 
did finish), and that location would be permanent; whereas there 
is danger that, if Wall street is now agreed upon, the pertinacity of 
the people of the first ward would be punished by its removal, 
before five years, to the Bowery or Union place. 

February 18. — The following fact, proving the unprecedented 
severity of the present winter, and (I should say) the folly of the 
persons concerned in the exploit, I copy from one of the news- 
papers, as worthy of being preserved amongst the records of the 
weather in this vicinity : " A friend at Cow Neck informs us that 
two gentlemen (Thomas and Adam Mott), on the 7th of this 
month, crossed Long Island Sound on foot, — a distance of seven 
and a half miles, — on the ice, from the mouth of Hempstead 
Harbour to Rye Point, in Connecticut, and then returned, mak- 
ing a distance of fifteen miles." 

February 19. — Mr, Biddle has foiled his impla- 
^ cable enemy. General Jackson. The United States 

Bank has been incorporated in the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. Every effort was made to defeat it and the stale charge 
of bribery brought against some of its friends ; but it passed both 
Houses, and the Governor, Rittner, having signed it, " the monster" 
is on its legs again, and the President must seek his retreat " in 
the deserts of Arabia," where he swore he would go whenever 
the bank was incorporated. I have no interest in the matter, and 
doubt much if the institution of so great a bank in a neighbouring 

200 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 56. 

State may not prove injurious to New York ; but if it is the cause 
of Jackson going to Arabia to stay, I rejoice. 

February 23. — Twenty lots in the "burned dis- 
SaicofLots. trict," the property of Joel Post, deceased, were sold 
at auction this day, by James Bleecker & Son, at most 
enormous prices, greater than they would have brought before the 
fire, when covered with valuable buildings. This, at least, is the 
opinion of the best judges of the value of down-town property. 
The settlement of the French question has had much to do in 
producing this result, aided by the spirit of speculation and the 
sanguine hopes of the merchants of a great business this year. 
The lots were formed principally out of the property bought by 
Mr. Post from the guardians of Mr. Coster's children, for which 
he gave $93,000. They fronted on Wall, William, and Merchant 
streets, and Exchange place, in the immediate vicinity of the 
site of the old Merchants' Exchange, and where a new one is 
to be built, on a larger and more magnificent plan. The whole 
brought $765,100. 

February 24. — The trades-union people have been 
Riots. trying for some time past to get up a row, and suc- 

ceeded yesterday. The journeymen and labouring 
men of different occupations have struck for wages, and their 
employers, in most instances, have resisted them Avith firmness. 
The stevedores and other labourers employed along-shore made a 
demand for an increase of wages, which the employers consented 
to, in consideration of the severity of the weather, the increased 
expense of living, and the abundance of work ; but this concession 
encouraged further demands, and they would not go to work 
without a promise of the new wages for a year in advance. This 
was resisted ; an immense body of the malcontents paraded the 
wharves all yesterday and attacked the men who refused to join 
them. Several vessels were armed to protect the men who were 
willing to work. Captain Waite, of the ship "United States," 
loaded a four-pounder with grape and canister shot, determined to 


oppose their boarding the vessel. The Mayor and police magis- 
trates repaired to the spot ; some of the officers were attacked by 
the rioters, one of whom, named Brink, had his skull fractured, and 
his life is despaired of. While this disgraceful scene was acting on 
the wharves, a large body of labourers assailed the men who were at 
work removing the rubbish from the ruins of the fire, with clubs 
and brickbats ; the police were sent for, and succeeded, after a 
battle, in capturing four or five of the ringleaders. 

The Mayor, who acts with vigour and firmness, ordered out the 
troops, who are now on duty with loaded arms, ready for action. 
These measures have restored order for the present, but I fear the 
elements of disorder are at work ; the bands of Irish and other 
foreigners, instigated by the mischievous councils of the trades- 
union and other combinations of discontented men, are acquiring 
strength and importance which will ere long be difficult to quell. 

The subscription for the new Exchange, on the 
^^"^ enlarged plan, has been filled with a liberality which 


does great honour to our merchants. It will embrace 
the whole front on Wall street from Exchange place to William 
street, taking in the whole block, and will cost from $1,000,000 to 
$1,200,000. The certainty of the accompUshment of this magnifi- 
cent project was one of the causes of the high prices of Mr. Post's 
property at the sale yesterday. The location of the Exchange in 
Wall street has made princely fortunes for the proprietors of lots 
in the first ward. If it had been originally placed in the park (as 
was strongly urged by many at the time) my house would now 
have been worth more money than all the property of Post's, 
which has been sold for $765,100; without that I do not think 
that it would have brought the odd $65,100. 

March 2. — The Fire-king reigns supreme in this devoted city; 
what with alterations, pulling down and burning up, the city in the 
aggregate is rebuilt, I should think, about once in seven years. 

The Hon. John Tyler, member of the Senate from Virginia, a 
leading Whig and an influential member of that patriotic party. 

202 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 56. 

resigned his seat, on Monday last, in a very handsome letter ad- 
dressed to the Vice-President. It is understood that this gentle- 
man has withdrawn his valuable services from the public at this 
important crisis when such men are so much wanted, from 
his view (a mistaken one, I humbly conceive) of his duty to 
his constituents, who have instructed him and his v,-orthy col- 
league, Benjamin Watkins Leigh, to vote for the expunging resolu- 
tions (as they are called), in which they are to condemn their own 
act when they voted that the President, in certain of his rash 
measures, had transcended his powers and violated the constitu- 
tion. This, of course, they cannot do, as honourable men, and 
Governor Tyler, maintaining the doctrine that the representative 
is governed by the instructions of his constituents, has no alterna- 
tive but to resign his seat, and, to the gratification of the admin- 
istration party, leave it open for one of their own men; the 
Legislature of Virginia having at present (temporarily, perhaps) a 
small majority of that sort of folks. 

Thus it ever is. The honourable, high-minded men, viewing 
personal consistency as of greater importance than party fidelity, 
do not hesitate to maintain the one at the expense of the other, 
and persons less scrupulous usurp their stations in the government. 
Who ever knew a Jackson man to give up his seat one day before 
he was forced to, because the body of his constituents, much less 
an evanescent Legislature, held political opinions different from his ? 
This change will, it is to be feared, place the Websters, the Clays, 
the Prestons, the Calhouns, and the Leighs in a minority, and the 
arm of power will be extended unchecked over this great, but 
hardly ridden, country. It is hoped the opinions of Governor 
Tyler's colleague do not coincide with his, and that he will not 
resign. If my view of his constitutional obligations is correct, he 
ought not. 

March 7. — The following gentlemen dined with us : Mr. Alex- 
ander Duncan of Canandaigua, Mr. George Griswold, Samuel Hay, 


S. S. Howland, J. B. Fleming, Mr. B. L. Swan, I. S. Hone, and 
Charles Clinton. 

March 8. — I have this day sold my house in which 
^^ ^^ I live, No. 235 Broadway, to Elijah Boardman, for 

$60,000, to be converted into shops below, and the 
upper part to form part of the establishment of the American 
Hotel, kept by Edward Milford, in which I imagine Mr. Boardman 
to be interested. I bought this property on the 8th of March, 
182 1, after my return from Europe. I gave Jonathan Smith 
$25,000 for it. I make a large profit ; but the rage for speculation 
is at present so high that it will prove an excellent purchase. The 
house belonging to the Phoenix Insurance Company, two or three 
doors above Warren street, was sold this day at auction, for 
$40,000. The building is worth little or nothing, and the lot only 
twenty-five feet by one hundred and six feet ; mine is thirty-seven 
feet by one hundred and twenty feet, and is very cheap compared 
wth the other. 

I am to retain possession until the 15 th of October, unless I 
choose to give it up before. I shall leave this delightful house 
with feelings of deep regret. The splendid rooms, the fine situa- 
tion, my snug library, well-arranged books, handsome pictures, 
what will become of them ? I have turned myself out of doors ; 
but $60,000 is a great deal of money. 

Wednesday, March 9. — After the breaking up of the Board of 
the Savings-Bank, Mr. Swan and I walked out to the Second 
avenue, St. Mark's place, Tompkins square, and Lafayette place. I 
am turned out of doors, and he expects soon to be. Almost every- 
body down-town is in the same predicament, for all the dwelling- 
houses are to be converted into stores. We are tempted with 
prices so exorbitantly high that none can resist, and the old down- 
town burgomasters, who have fixed to one spot all their lives, will 
be seen, during the next summer, in flocks, marching reluctantly 
north to pitch their tents in places which, in their time, were 
orchards, corn-fields, or morasses a pretty smart distance from 

204 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [yEtat. 56. 

town, and a journey to which was, formerly, an affair of some 
moment, and required preparation beforehand, but which consti- 
tute at this time the most fashionable quarter of New York. We 
did not see any lots which appeared to us so desirable as some on 
Lafayette place. 

March 12. — The winter is not yet over; the wind came out 
from the north-west last night; the thermometer is down to 18" 
this morning, and the high banks of ice in the streets have the ap- 
pearance of solid walls of black marble. I make these remarks so 
frequently about the weather, because I imagine the winter of 
1835-6 will stand hereafter recorded in our annals as the hard 
winter of modern days. I saw it mentioned in the papers that the 
ice has been sawed through in Connecticut river, opposite Hart- 
ford, and found to be forty inches in thickness. 

Everything in New York is at an exorbitant price. 
High prices. Rents have risen fifty per cent, for the next year. I 

have sold my house, it is true, for a large sum; but 
where to go I know not. Lots two miles from the City Hall are 
worth $8,000 or 1 10,000. Even in the eleventh ward, toward the 
East river, where they sold two or three years ago for $2,000 or 
$3,000, they are held now at $4,000 and $5,000, Everything is in 
the same proportion ; the market was higher this morning than I 
have ever known it, — beef twenty-five cents per pound, mutton 
and veal fifteen to eighteen cents, small turkeys a dollar and a half. 
This does very well for persons in business and speculators, who 
make, as the saying is, "one hand wash another;" but it comes 
hard upon those retired from business, who live upon fixed in- 
comes, particularly public officers, clerks in banks and counting- 
houses, whose salaries are never raised in proportion to the in- 
creased expense of living. 

March 19. — I dined with Mr. Louis McLane. He 
Mr. McLane. occupies the house No. I Greenwich street, formerly 

Dominick Lynch's, and more recently Abraham Scher- 
merhorn's, who owns it still. Mr. McLane is one of the ablest and 


most agreeable men I ever knew, and has a delightful family. He 
has occupied several of the highest stations in our government ; 
originally member of the House of Representatives for the State of 
Maryland, then in the Senate of the United States ; in both houses 
he was one of the most distinguished members. In April, 1829, 
he was appointed Minister to Great Britain. On the breaking up 
of General Jackson's first cabinet, in April, 1831, he was appointed 
Secretary of the Treasury, and subsequently, on the retirement of 
Mr. Livingston, he was made Secretary of State, which office he 
held until the old chief made the place too hot for him. He re- 
signed, as was pretty well understood at the time, because he dis- 
approved of the removal of the deposits ; but he went quietly out 
of office, without assigning that as the reason. He was soon after- 
ward elected president of the Morris Canal Company, with a salary 
of $6,000, and became a citizen of New York, to the sincere gratifi- 
cation of all the New Yorkers who have the pleasure of his 

March 24. — I dined with the members of the Reading Club, 
at Washington Hotel. There were about twenty; some bright 
spirits : the Duers, Irving, Hoffman, Charles King, Davis, Han'ey, 
Colonel AVhite of Florida, Fleming, Patterson, Halleck, etc. 

I bought this day, from Samuel Ward, for $15,000, the lot comer 
of Broadway and Great Jones street, twenty-nine feet wide and 
one hundred and thirty feet deep. It is my intention to build a 
house on this lot for my own residence, after I shall be turned out 
of the house I now occupy. 

M.\RCH 26. — The Legislature of the State have 
tT^J granted an act of incorporation to a company to con- 

struct a tunnel under the Hudson river, from the city 
of Albany to the east side. The directors named in the bill are : 
Joel N. Note, Stephen Van Rensselaer, Jr., James Stevenson, James 
Vanderpoel, and John Townsend. The charter is in perpetuity, 
without a reservation of the power to modify or repeal. The width 
of the tunnel is to be twenty-four feet and the height twelve feet. 

206 THE DIARY OF THILIP HONE. [.-Etat. 56. 

the crown of the arch eighteen inches below the bed of the river. 
This is, I beUeve, the first tunnel under water in this country. 
New York is ever first in works of improvement and enterprise. 

March 29. — The Legislature of Massachusetts on 
Mr. Webster in ^j^y^g^j^y last in Convention, renominated Mr. Webster 

Massachusetts. ■' 

for President, and nominated Mr. Granger for Vice- 
President. Their resolutions are patriotic and uncompromising. 
They go for principle, not for expediency. A letter from Mr. 
Webster was read at this convention worthy of himself. He prefers 
to retire from the contest, but will stand by his friends and by the 
Constitution, to use his own words, " whether in majorities or 
minorities, in prosperous or in adverse fortune." 

April 4. — I went this evening to a party given at Mrs. Fred- 
erick Sheldon's, Bowling Green. Everything was in admirable 
taste, and the pictures and other works of art which were collected 
by the host and hostess during their late visit to Europe were 
displayed to great advantage. 

April 5 . — This celebrated lady is now in New 
,,'^^. York. She arrived here last autumn, and has been 


travelling in the Southern States. She brought me a 
letter from Mr. MacCready. Margaret and I called upon her. 
She has been at our house, and this morning I called again to see 
her. I was apprehensive, from her high literary reputation, that I 
should find her a little too blue to be agreeable. But it is not at 
all the case ; she is pleasant and unafifected, has great vivacity, 
talks well upon all subjects, and is fond of laughing ; with these 
qualifications she is, of course, an engaging companion. The only 
difficulty in conversing with her* arises from her great deafness, 
which is obviated (at least so far as one speaker at a time is con- 
cerned) by the use of a trumpet formed of a tube of gum-elastic, 
one end of which she places in her right ear, while the mouth of 
the person conversing with her is applied to the other. 

April 7. — The Reading Club gave a dinner, at Washington 
Hotel, to Mr. John Duer, on the occasion of his departure for 


Europe. My engagement prevented me from going until nine o'clock, 
at which time I joined the party, and I have seldom passed so agree- 
able an evening. I was too late for a speech from the distinguished 
guest, which was agreed on all hands to have been admirable, but 
the whole time until the hour of breaking up (half-past twelve 
o'clock) was a scene of joviality, wit, and brilliancy. Many excel- 
lent speeches were made, and innumerable good things said, which 
literally " set the table in a roar." 

Henry S. Hoyt, eldest son of Mr. Goold Hoyt, was married at 
the college, this day, at noon, to Frances, eldest daughter of Wm. 
A. Duer, LL.D., President of the college. 

April 8. — We had a dinner-party to-day consisting of the 
following ladies and gentlemen: Mrs. and Miss McLane (Mr. 
McLane is absent). President and Mrs. Duer, Mr. and Mrs. Davis, 
Mr. and Mrs. Edward R. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. James A. Hamilton, 
Mr. Washington Irving, Mr. Chas. McEvers, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. 
Peter Schermerhorn, Miss Sarah Duer, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac S. Hone, 
Miss Elizabeth Jones, Miss Mary Hamilton, Mr. Hay, Mr. Nicholas 
Low, Edward Schermerhorn. 

April 22. — I this day hired the house belonging to J\Ir. 
Bloomer, the upper one of the two marble houses with porticos in 
Broadway, opposite Washington place, for 5 1,600 per annum. It 
is a fine house, delightfully situated, and quite convenient to the 
place where I intend to build. 

May 9. — There is much excitement in relation to 
^exican ^-^^ revolt of the people of Texas against the Govern- 

ment of Mexico. These people, fugitives and rene- 
gades from the United States, having raised the standard of rebellion 
(or revolution, I suppose they call it) against the Government under 
which they have chosen to Hve, and, having been unsuccessful thus 
far, now claim the protection of the Government of this country. 
They abandoned America as citizens, and General Jackson, having 
failed in getting up a French war, seems determined to recognize 
this sort of paternity, and have a tilt of some kind before he doffs 

208 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 56. 

his knightly armor as Grand Master of the Columbian Order, In- 
structions have been given to General Gaines to protect the United 
States frontier bordering on Texas, at all events. This is very well 
as far as it goes, but his orders will warrant him in leading his forces 
over the Mexican line, if, in his opinion, there should be indications 
of a hostile intention ; in other words, giving him authority to com- 
mence a war without the sanction of Congress, and I have no doubt 
the " old chief" has intimated to him that that course would 
" break no squares " at Washington. These facts came out in the 
House of Representatives, on Friday last, on a resolution of Mr. 
Cambreling to appropriate a million of dollars for the protection 
of the Mexican frontier. Colonel White is in town ; he told me 
on Saturday that he considers a Mexican war as a very probable 
event. The Western speculators will be all in favor of it. 

May 14. — :This has been a busy week for me. I have done 
more work than in any other week since I quitted business. On 
Monday morning I commenced the removal of the library ; the 
bookcases were taken to pieces, carried to the new house, and are 
now nearly ready to receive the books, which are all there lying on 
the floor, tied up and labelled with the numbers of the shelves. 
Having had two wine- closets and a part of the cellar shelved and 
prepared, we began on Thursday morning to remove the wine from 
the garret and wine-room of the old house, in which a great part 
of it has remained untouched fourteen years. It went away in 
fifteen cartloads of baskets. I received it, stowed it away nicely, 
and took an inventory of two thousand one hundred and eighty 
quarts and two hundred and fifty-four half-gallon bottles of Madeira 
and sherry ; so that job is done. 

May 28. — There has been another disgraceful riot 
owa le ^^ ^j^^ p^^^ Theatre. Mr. Wood, notwithstanding he 

Theatre. ' ° 

sings so well, is the cause of this breach of harmony. 
Music may have " charms to soothe the savage breast," but not the 
breast of the pugnacious Mr. Webb, editor of " The Courier and 
Enquirer." This important personage charged Wood with unkind- 


ness and a want of gallantry towards Mrs. Conduit, a little woman 
who sings well ami is pretty, and has been associated with the 
Woods in some of their operas. This occasioned Mr. Wood to be 
hissed ; he came forward and denied the charge. Webb reiterated 
it ; Wood challenged him ; the audience on a subsequent evening 
again expressed their disapprobation, and were not satisfied with 
his explanation. In yesterday morning's " Courier and Enquirer," 
Mr. Webb, in a most reprehensible article, calls upon the populace 
to go that evening to the theatre and drive Wood off the stage. 
This, of course, had the desired effect ; for when was there a difficulty 
in finding ruffians enough not only to break into a theatre when 
thus instigated, but to pull down, set fire to, and destroy the city 
if they had a chance ? Mr. Webb succeeded ; an immense mob 
collected about the theatre, forced an entrance, and compelled Mr. 
Simpson to withdraw the Woods and promise that they would not 
again appear. This was the last engagement of those charming 
singers previous to their return, and I and others must be deprived 
of the pleasure of hearing them because Mr. Webb charges Mr. 
Wood with impoliteness, and he denies it. As well may this pre- 
sumptuous newspaper editor exert the power of the press which he 
conducts to the gratification of personal pique or private resent- 
ment, and the public, the orderly part of the public, must acquiesce, 
and relinquish a rational amusement, or engage in a disgraceful 
contest with the loafers and Five-pointers who are ever ready to 
respond to such a call as they received on this occasion. 

May 30. — I called yesterday to see an old friend. Dr. Peter 
Ir\-ing, who arrived on Saturday, in the ship " Erie," from Havre. 
He has resided in France twenty-seven years, during which time 
I have not seen him, for I missed him in 1S21 when I was in 
Havre, owing to his absence from home. He expresses some sur- 
prise at my gray hairs, but he will find other changes equally 
astonishing. How strange must be the feelings of a New Yorker, 
absent so long, in witnessing the changes which have taken place ; 
for no description can give the same idea of it as actual observation. 

210 THE DIARY OF riilLIP HONE. [.Etat. 56. 

May 31. — I am a great lover of flowers. They furnish at all 
times, and particularly in the spring, enjoyment of the most refined 
and delicate nature, — a species of enjoyment which ranks with 
reading of poetry, looking at a fine picture, and drinking a glass of 
Chateau Margaux, in which the senses are gratified without sen- 

June 2. — There arrived at this port, during the month of May, 
15,825 passengers. All Europe is coming across the ocean; all 
that part at least who cannot make a living at home ; and what 
shall we do with them ? They increase our taxes, eat our bread, 
and encumber our streets, and not one in twenty is competent to 
keep himself. 

June 3. — The following gentlemen dined with us: Chancellor 
Kent, Luther Bradish, Wm. H. Seward, Samuel B. Ruggles, Charles 
King, Charles H. Russell, John Van Buren, Murray, Isaac S. Hone, 
Charles A. Davis. 

June 6. — In corroboration of the remarks which I 
^urneyman ^^^^ occasionally made of late, on the spirit of faction 
and contempt of the laws which pervades the commu- 
nity at this time, is the conduct of the journeymen tailors, instigated 
by a set of vile foreigners (principally English), who, unable to 
endure the restraints of wholesome law, well administered in their 
own country, take refuge here, establish trades-unions, and vihfy 
Yankee judges and juries. Twenty odd of these were convicted at 
the Oyer and Terminer of a conspiracy to raise their wages and to 
prevent any of the craft from working at prices less than those for 
which they struck. Judge Edwards gave notice that he would 
proceed to sentence them this day ; but, in consequence of the con- 
tmuance of Robinson's trial, the Court postponed the sentence until 

This, however, being the day on which it was expected, crowds 
of people have been collected in the park, ready for any mischief 
to which they may have been instigated, and a most diabolical and 
inflammatory hand-bill was circulated yesterday, headed by a coffin. 


The Board of Aldermen held an informal meeting this evening, at 
which a resolution was adopted authorizing the Mayor to offer a 
reward for the discovery of the author, printer, publisher, or dis- 
tributor of this incendiary publication. The following was the 
hand-bill : — 


" Judge Edwards, the tool of the aristocracy, against the people ! 
Mechanics and working men ! A deadly blow has been struck at 
your liberty ! The prize for which your fathers fought has been 
robbed from you ! the freemen of the North are now on a level 
with the slaves of the South ! with no other privilege than labouring, 
that drones may fatten on your life-blood ! Twenty of your breth- 
ren have been found guilty for presuming to resist a reduction of 
their wages ! and Judge Edwards has charged an American jury, 
and agreeably to that charge, they have established the precedent 
that workingmen have no right to regulate the price of labour, or, 
in other words, the rich are the only judges of the wants of the 
poor man. On Monday, June 6, 1836, at ten o'clock, these 
freemen are to receive their sentence, to gratify the hellish appe- 
tites of the aristocrats ! 

" On Monday, the liberty of the workingmen will be interred ! 
Judge Edwards is to chant the requiem ! Go ! Go ! Go ! every 
freeman, every workingman, and hear the hollow and the melan- 
choly sound of the earth on the coffin of equality ! Let the court- 
room, the City Hall, yea ! the whole park, be filled with mourners ; 
but remember, offer no violence to Judge Edwards, bend meekly, 
and receive the chain wherewith you are to be bound ! Keep the 
peace ! Above all things, keep the peace ! " 

June 7. — I had a letter to-day from the accom- 
johnGait. plishcd author of the "Ayrshire Legatees" and 
" Annals of the Parish " and " Eleven Strokes and Ag- 
gravations of Paralysis." The latter, he says, " Have disabled me 
from taking part any longer in the uses of the world " ; but his 

212 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HOXE. [/Etat. 56. 

mental faculties appear to be unimpaired, and he does me the 
honour to say, that unless I forbid him he intends to inscribe to 
me a "little book," for which he has been arranging materials, 
" that I may hav^e an opportunity," he adds, " of stating my own 
impressions of the United States, for the topic now begms to be 
popular here, and favourable opinions begin to be appreciated." 

June 9. — Among the fleet of vessels which sailed 
DrTrtJr« }'esterday and to-day were the "Havre," having as pas- 
sengers Mr. and Mrs. Cottenet and children, Mr. and 
Mrs. Boreel, and Miss Langdon; the " Montreal," with Mr. Steven- 
son, the new Tvlinister to England, his lady and Miss Coles and 
AUyn Otis. The " Shefifield," in which Mr. Wallack went ; she was 
ready for sea on the 24th of May, and was prevented from day 
to day by the easterly storm. The " Montreal " was the packet of 
the first instant. Arrived yesterday, from Liverpool, the " Orpheus." 
Temple Bowdoin was one of her passengers. 

June 13. — Yesterday morning was clear, bright, and beautiful, 
and we enjoyed in our new residence up town all the pleasures of 
the country. The air was refreshing, the trees in full verdure, 
the birds sang sweetly, and when I walked down to Trinity Church 
(where I shall continue to go at least once a day), I met and 
overtook crowds of well-dressed persons on their way to the 
several places of divine worship. It looked indeed as the morn- 
ing of the Christian Sabbath always should. 

June 17. — A new club is about being established, 
^,'*'°'^ at the head of which are a number of our most dis- 


tinguished citizens, to consist of four hundred mem- 
bers, and to be similar in its plan and regulations to the great 
clubs of London, which give a tone and character to the society 
of the British metropolis. A meeting was held this evening, at 
the Athenaeum, to organize the club, at which I was earnestly in- 
vited to attend, but I could not get away from Mr. Griffin's in 

June 20. — In the ship "Samson," arrived yesterday from Lon- 


don, came passengers Charles Parish, N. P. WilHs and his new 
EngHsh wife, and the Right Hon. Edward EUice. Greenough the 
sculptor arrived here a few days since, and went to ^V'ashington. 
I did not see him. His talents are an honour to his country, and 
his fellow-citizens should be proud of him. He is engaged in a 
great work by order of Congress, a statue of \Vashington, which 
I presume is the object of his visit at this time. 

Mr. Naudian having resigned, his place in the Sen- 
Deiawarc ^^ ^^ ^j^^ United States has been filled by the appoint- 

Senalor. •' ^ ^ 

raent of Richard H. Bayard, by a vote of seventeen 
to ten. 

This is the gentleman whose society and that of his charming 
wife afforded us so much pleasure last summer at Rockaway. He 
is a thorough Whig, but the party gains nothing in their number 
by his election, his predecessor being equally so. The little State 
of Delaware is a precious jewel in the political diadem. She has 
always been governed by good principles and represented by 

Albany, Tune 22. — A party of gentlemen consisting 

Excursion j j o tr J o o 

in the of the managers of the Delaware & Hudson Company, 

"Novelty." ^^gether with Matthew St. Clair Clarke, Colonel 
McKinny, Mr. Bradley of \Vashington, the Collector, Elisha 
Townsend, and others, went on board the " Novelty " this morning 
at six o'clock, at the foot of Chambers street in New York, and 
came to Albany in twelve hours. 

This was the first voyage ever made from New York to Albany 
by a steamboat propelled by anthracite coal. Dr. Nott has been 
engaged for several years in contriving machinery to accomplish 
this important object, and has now succeeded completely. The 
great desideratum was to contrive the means of igniting the coal, 
and producing a flame sufficient to create the steam. This has 
been effected by condensing hot air, which, by injection into the 
bottom of the furnaces, accomplishes this object, and forces the 
flame into a chamber in which are a great number of iron tubes 

214 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.!■ tat. 56. 

of the size of guu-barrels, placed vertically. There are four of 
these furnaces. The quantity of coal consumed on this trip was 
about twenty tons, which at five dollars per ton amounts to one 
hundred dollars. The same voyage would have consumed forty 
cords of fine wood, the present price of which is six dollars, making 
a difference of more than one-half. Dr. Nott, who was on board, 
has made experiments the result of which is that the difference of 
expense on board the " Novelty " during one season will amount to 
$19,000. The " Erie " left New York an hour after us, and arrived 
two hours after our arrival, but she made the usual stops, and we 
came directly on, so that their speed was probably nearly equal. 
The tide was against us all day, and there is a great freshet in the 
river. Dr. Nott has succeeded completely in this invention, which 
establishes the certainty that coal will supersede wood in all our 
steamboats, and the Delaware &i Hudson Company will hereafter 
be able to sell all the coal they can bring down the canal at an 
advanced price. 

June 30. — This enlightened statesman and illustrious 
a/^ AT°j- citizen, Tames Madison, former President of the United 

Mr. Madison. ' -" ' 

States, died on Tuesday last. He had been gradually 
sinking for some time past. It is a pity he had not lingered six 
days longer, that his death might have occurred, like those of Jeffer- 
son and the elder Adams, on the anniversary of the political birth- 
day of the country over which they had severally ruled. 

July 2. — Joseph Bonaparte, formerly King of Naples 
°^"^ and afterward of Spain, now bearing the title of Count 

Survilliers. '■ ^ 

Survilliers, after a residence in this country of twenty 
years, yesterday took his final leave and sailed for London in the 
packet ship " Philadelphia." During his residence in the United 
States he has conciliated the favourable opinions of all who knew 
him, and has left an exceedingly good name amongst his immediate 
neighbours at Bordentown, where he has a fine estate, on which he 
has lived for a great portion of the time of his residence among us. 
July ii. — The discouraging accounts of Mary's health, and the 


uncertainty we are in respecting the movements of my children, 
have determined me to go to Europe on Saturday next, unless we 
should receive letters before that day rendering it unnecessary. INIy 
daughter Margaret will be my companion. I went on board the 
ship " England " this morning and engaged our staterooms. 

At Sea, July 16. — We went on board the steamboat this morn- 
ing at eleven o'clock. Many of our friends attended to take leave 
of us, and several accompanied us to the ship, which was lying below 
Governor's Island. The party partook of a luncheon on board, 
and leaving us oif Fort Hamilton, with three cheers of encourage- 
ment and kind wishes, we commenced our voyage to Liverpool on 
board the good ship " England," commanded by Captain Waite, an 
able seaman and a gentlemanly man. The " England " is a noble, 
fast-saihng ship of 731 tons' burden. 

The weather was bright at the time of sailing, but the wind 
northeast, as it has been for so great a portion of the time 
during the present summer, and the departure of our friends in the 
steamboat seemed to be the signal for its increase, for by two 
o'clock it blew a gale from that inauspicious quarter directly on 
shore, with a rough sea, and our ship pitching heavily. 

July 18. — The wind north-east, blowing hard and cold, with a 
heavy cross-sea. The passengers generally sick, but I have recov- 
ered, and eaten my allowance. I dined heartily on a fresh salmon, 
and drank my usual quantity of wine at dinner. Margaret, the 
only lady at the table. She is a famous sailor ; she sits on the bul- 
warks, to which lofty station she is assisted by me, or some other of 
the gentlemen, and enjoys the wild scene as the gallant ship makes 
her way through the mountain billows. 

July 19. — We have had one of those incidents to-day which 
sometimes break in agreeably upon the monotony of a sea voyage. 
A sail ahead was descried early in the morning, which we soon 
made out to be a large ship steering the same course. We gained 
steadily upon her, until it was ascertained to be the " Charlemagne " 
under a great press of sail. How she got ahead so far to wind- 

2l6 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^Etat. 56. 

ward I could not make out. She must have gotten a streak of 
more favorable wind, but we came fast up with her. Captain Waite 
"whipped up," and to his great satisfaction passed her to windward 
at four ^'clock and hoisted the " star spangled banner," which was 
returned by the "Charlemagne." This is certainly very interesting, 
and proves the perfection of the art of navigation. Here were 
two ships, starting together from New York, after three days sailing 
nearly five hundred miles, in gales of wind, come in sight of each 
other so near that every person on board can be distinguished and 
almost hear each other's voices. The "Charlemagne " sails fast, but 
we have certainly beaten her handsomely. It was a glorious sight, 
when we were abreast of her, and saw her swelling canvas — royals, 
studding-sails and all — and her bright, high sides, rising from the 
waves like a walled city and plunging again into the glittering abyss 
of waters. 

July 28. — At four o'clock we were called from dinner to see a 
large ship which was nearly abreast of us to windward. She proved 
to be the ship " Kensington " from Liverpool bound to New York. 
The passengers exchanged cheers, and the captain might as well 
have come down to speak to us as not. We were as close to the 
wind as the ship could possibly steer, and, of course, could not have 
gone nearer. This appears to have been excessively churlish. It 
would have been a great satisfaction to us to hear news, but a much 
greater to send our greetings to those dear ones we had left at 
home. But the " Lexington " cannot well avoid reporting us on 
her arrival, and our friends will know that on this day, twelve days 
out, we have made about two-thirds of our voyage. 

It was a glorious sight to witness these two splendid ships pas- 
sing each other, both close-hauled, on different tacks. The " Ken- 
sington" rose and sank on the waves with the majesty of the eagle 
and the calmness of the swallow. This is always an interesting in- 
cident on a voyage, but there was something more beautiful in this 
view than in any of the kind I have ever witnessed. 

July 29. — We have two ladies, passengers, who exemplify the 


two extremes in the American female character. Mrs. May, of 
Boston, is a regular Yankee, quick of apprehension, intelligent, 
handy, self-confident, a person qualified to take care of herself in 
every situation in which circumstances could place her. She is (I 
undertake to say) in all respects a helpmate to her husband. 
Mrs. Hammond is soft, languishing, and inert, and her listlessness 
of manner proclaiming her at once a South Carolinean, with more 
feminine loveliness than the lady just described. She appears to 
be incapable of the least exertion, and would starve, I verily believe, 
if she had nobody to help her to food. She and her husband (who 
is a member of Congress from South Carolina) lounge all day on 
sofas in the cabin and a mattress on deck, and neither of them 
have been at the table during the voyage, except once that the lady 
made an effort and dined with the passengers. This may be 
accounted for by the bad health of both the husband . and wife. 
But Mrs. May would require to be a great deal worse than either 
before she would consent to give up. There does not seem to be 
much congeniality between these two ladies. There is too much 
dissimilarity in their habits and dispositions to admit of it. The 
one must despise the other for her business-like qualities, and she 
in return wonders how a lady can submit to be served by slaves in 
matters which she ought herself to attend to. My daughter 
Margaret, from having been brought up on neutral ground, is 
nearer right in those particulars than either, and I am greatly mis- 
taken if all the passengers are not of the same opinion. 

July 31. — I arose early and went upon deck. It was a fine 
morning ; the ship sailing ten knots an hour ; the sea bright and 
blue, with that sort of crispness in the curling of the waves and the 
sparkling of the white foam which is usually a concomitant of 
westerly wind. We shall make a better run during this twenty- four 
hours than any since we left New York. Captain Waite says she 
sailed faster during the night than he ever saw her before, and he 
thinks her the fastest sailer in the American merchant navy. 

Why is it that the Sabbath morning always appears more solemn 

2l8 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 56. 

to me than any other ? There are many things on shore to pro(Uice 
that effect. The hum of business is hushed ; the streets deserted ; 
the world reposes in a sort of conventional quietude, but here on 
the ocean there are no such marks to denote the return of the day 
of rest ; and yet when I went on deck this morning I felt myself 
influenced by the consciousness that this day was set apart from 
the others, and that I was enjoined " to keep it holy." It is 
indeed a holy institution. No man who acknowledges a depend- 
ence upon the Almighty Governor of the universe can avoid feel- 
ing that upon this day of rest he is more immediately brought in 
the presence of his Maker. I hope I do not mistake my own sen- 
sations, and attribute to an innate principle of right the conscious- 
ness that one cannot help feeling of helplessness and reliance upon 
the Almighty when exposed to the dangers of a sea voyage, but I 
certainly felt this morning my mind elevated by the knowledge 
that this was the Sabbath of the Lord. At the request of the 
passengers, I read the morning service of our church, and I trust 
the manner was not less acceptable for the reflections of the morn- 
ing, the result of which I have given above. 

Our accommodations are excellent. The most abundant pro- 
vision has been made, and we have every day as good a table as 
the most fastidious gastronome could desire. A sheep and a pig 
were killed last evening, and plenty of poultry ; and our larder 
presents a most inviting appearance. The passengers are good- 
humoured, accommodating, and jovial, and if I were not anxious to 
see my children I should not have any great objection to prolong 
our voyage a week beyond the time at which we may expect to 
arrive, if the wind hold on. 

August 3. — At noon, however, the wind died away, and it became 
perfectly calm and continued so during the remainder of the day. Not 
a breath of air was stirring to agitate the sails, and the waters of the 
variable Channel were smooth as a mirror. Oh, for a steamboat at 
such a time ! Genius of Fulton ! if ever thou art dear to the mem- 
ory of thy countrymen it must be when, at the close of a long 


voyage, they become suddenly becalmed within a few hours of the 
port of their destination. Wind and sails are nothing now com- 
pared to steam and paddles, and we had the mortification of real- 
izing this fact this afternoon, by seeing a large steamer (I am in 
England now, and must talk as the English talk) puffing and 
wheezing and smoking rapidly on her course towards the Irish 
shore, while we were flapping and rolling and making no headway. 

August 6. — And I once more set my foot upon English ground. 

BooTLE, Sunday, Aug. 7. — Mr. Heyworth took us to town this 
morning, where we attended divine service in the chapel of the 
Blind Asylum, which is the fashionable church. We sat in Mr. 
Brown's pew. Coming out of church T^Ir. William Rathbone 
brought Capt. Basil Hall to shake hands with us. He and his wife 
both expressed themselves in the following terms : " We are happy 
to see again a gentleman to whose kindness in America we are so 
greatly indebted." Pretty well, considering Mr. Rathbone asked 
me to meet Captain Hall yesterday at dinner at his house. After 
paying a few visits in town, we returned to dine and sleep at 
Bootle. I am charmed with all I see here. Our sweet friend, 
Charlotte Kane, has gotten a charming fellow for a husband. 

Liverpool, Aug. 12. — Having been honoured by an 
Trnvriiaif^ invitation from the mayor to meet the judges at dinner, 
]\Ir. Rathbone called for me at seven o'clock, and we 
went to the Town Hall. The doors of my hotel (The Waterloo) 
were beset by a crowd to see the egress of the high sheriff, a splen- 
did, fierce-looking fellow, in full dress, with chapeau bras 
and a long black wand. He rode in a superb stage coach-and- 
four, with two dashing postilions. This gentleman's name is 
Standish of Standish Hall, a person of large fortune and high 
standing in the County of Lancashire. When we alighted at the 
door of the Council Hall, we were ushered by a train of servants in 
livery, by the beautiful staircase and vestibule to the splendid 
suite of rooms in which the mayor received his guests, the rich 
furniture being unco\-crcJ and everything arranged to suit the 


occasion. The coup cVccil was perfectly magnificent. The ball- 
room, with the splendid chandeliers, was not in the dining part of 
the palace, but I was taken to see it. 

My reception by the mayor (Mr. Corrie) was not only flattering 
but marked by extreme kindness, and the judges, Mr. Justice Park 
and Mr. Justice Coleridge, to whom I was introduced immediately 
on their arrival, were particular in their attentions to me during the 
whole of the evening. The company consisted of about fifty gentle- 
men, principally members of Parliament, country gendemen, and 
barristers connected with the assizes which are now being held. 
A ISIr. Alexander seemed to be considered the most eminent 
lawyer in the company. The courts, both criminal and civil, are 
open at the same time, Justice Park presiding in the former and 
Justice Coleridge in the latter. 

The dinner-table was richly set out with a splendid plateau the 
whole length, and the services of china and glass suited to a 
banquet of kings, and as good a dinner, too, as I ever saw. Turtle 
soup, turbot, grouse (this is the first day for shooting them), and a 
great variety of pine-apples and peaches, were among the varieties, 
and the wines were capital. I was seated on the right of the 
mayor, next but two. One of the judges sat on each side of him, 
next on the right the high sheriff, and then myself. This latter 
dignitary and myself were soon good friends, and he pressed me 
with great apparent sincerity to visit him in London. These folk 
seem much pleased to come in contact with a Yankee. 

August 13. — Our first visit was to this princely 
chatsworth. mansiou and grounds. I do not know how to describe 
it. It surpasses the highest reach of my imagination. 
Eton Hall is, I think, a handsome exterior, but the grandeur, the 
sublimity, the solid magnificence of Chatsworth, induce me to give 
it a preference. It stands rather low, embosomed in an amphi- 
theatre of hills, with the river Derwent passing close to the walls. 
The view from every part of the grounds is beautiful. This is one 
particular in which it has the advantage of Eton ; then there are 


a nu Tiber of fountains and cascades, supplied by resen^oirs on the 
adjacent mountain, all of which were made to play for us. One of 
these is a tree, which looks so much like nature that it did not 
attract my attention, until all of a sudden, hundreds of jets from 
the ends of the branches began a spirited cross-fire which made 
us jump with surprise. The Italian Gardens below the terraces 
are beautiful. Herds of red and fallow deer are seen sporting 
over the grounds, and the conservatories and hot-houses and 
stables are all fine. 

The next object of curiosity was a visit across the 
Haddoniiaii. Country four or five miles to Haddon Hall, an old 
baronial castle belonging to the Duke of Rutland. 
The contrast between this and the place we had just left was singu- 
larly striking. This was erected before the Conquest, and displays 
all the rude, grotesque style of architecture of those days of feudal 
power. Towers and turrets, covered with the ivy of ages. The 
banqueting hall, kitchens, with fireplaces in which wild boar and 
the red deer were roasted whole for the iron-handed baron and his 
faithful dependents ; the armory, the dungeons, and the antiquated 
bed-chambers hung with tapestry, the figures of which resemble 
nothing in the heavens above nor in the earth beneath, — are all 
preserved in spite of the ravages of time, to show Englishmen how 
their fathers lived a thousand years ago. 

We visited this ancient place at a -peculiarly favorable time : at 
the close of such a day as the poets of England delight to describe, 
when the last rays of the setting sun throw the long, deep shadows 
of the moss-covered turrets and lofty pines over the bright green 
sward, and the beautiful river crept silently along, as if afraid to 
disturb the solemn stillness of the scene. It was an incident of 
my life never to be forgotten to have seen Chatsworth and Haddon 
Hall on the same afternoon. 

Le.\mington, Aug. 16. — Warwick is handsome, clean, and dull 
as ever, but the castle is even more glorious than my recollections 
of it. Its situation, the views up and down the Avon ; its ancient 

222 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [-'Et it. 56. 

towers, lofty hall, superb wainscotted apartments ; the venc rable 
trees in the park ; and the Warwick vase, the beau ideal of beauty, 
are all there in their former state, and some of the apartments 
(particularly the great hall of entrance and the dining-hall) have 
been recently repaired, and the ornaments retouched with great 
taste and delicacy. The part of Warwick Castle which most 
exceeded the recollection of my former visit is the pictures, which 
ornament the walls in every part ; this arises probably from my 
having more taste for pictures now than at that time. 

London, Aug. iS. — The forenoon of this day was passed in 
visiting some of the most interesting objects in Oxford, the glorious 
metropolis of learning and literature. It was delightful for me to 
refresh my recollections of this magnificent city. This day's visit 
has realized all I have thought and said of it since I was there 

At seven o'clock this evening, just as they were lighting the gas 
lamps, we were set down at the famous White Horse Cellar, Picca- 
dilly; amidst coaches innumerable, lords and chimney sweeps, 
ladies and blacklegs. Our luggage was placed in one of those de- 
testable vehicles, a hackney coach, in which we came to Mrs. 
Friedman's boarding-house. A comfortable establishment, No. 1 2 
Devonshire street, one door west of Portland place. 

August 20. — Having been introduced yesterday to 
'^'"° Lord Palmerston, the minister for foreign affairs, he 

Parliament. ' ° ' 

politely sent orders to Mr. Duer and me to go into the 
House of Lords to witness the prorogation of Parliament by the 
King in person, and we were fortunate enough to obtain very good 
places. The ceremony was very interesting to me, and the specta- 
cle exceedingly magnificent. The attendance of the lords was 
greater than I expected. I saw several distinguished noblemen, 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, Duke of Wellington, Duke of Nor- 
folk, Lords Melbourne, Westminster, etc., in all I think nearly a 
hundred. A great attendance of foreign ministers and a handsome 
display of ladies elegantly dressed. The king arrived at half-past 


two o'clock, attended by a numerous and brilliant cortege, and 
ascended the throne. He is much altered in appearance since I saw 
him at the coronation of his brother. He was then a stout man 
and walked erect ; he is now old and bent, with a tottering gait, 
and has all the marks of advanced age. The young Princess 
Victoria will not, from his appearance, have long to wait for her 
exalted inheritance. As soon as the king was seated, the Commons 
were summoned, the Speaker (Abercombie) read the address in a 
very clear and distinct tone of voice, so that, notwithstanding, from 
his situation under the gallery, I could not see him, I did not lose a 
word. The king then read his speech, with a little prompting, 
which I also heard distinctly. Parliament was then prorogued 
until October, and the king retired as he came, amidst a discharge 
of artillery and the sound of trumpets. We got out in time to see 
the procession leave the House. The stage coaches, with the horse 
and foot guards, made a grand appearance, and everything went off 
well. I should have regretted exceedingly not to have witnessed 
this splendid pageant. 

The manner of announcing the king's assent to the several bills 
is very singular, and the bows "of the clerks in their robes and wigs, 
and the formal, quaint " ie roi le veuf'' which accompanies each, 
had a ludicrous effect to such of us as had not before witnessed the 

^^'e paid a few visits before dinner, which does not take place 
until six o'clock, one of which to Mrs. Jameson, the authoress of 
" Characteristics of Women," gave me great pleasure. This gifted 
lady is to sail for New York next month to meet her husband who 
has a legal appointment in Upper Canada. 

August 21. — Margaret, Mr. Duer, and I went to pass the even- 
ing with Mrs. Jameson, where we met our kind and attentive 
friends, ]\Ir. and Mrs. Stevenson, and other nice persons, amongst 
whom was an old lady seventy-two years of age, Lady George 
Murray, and her daughter, disting'iished equally for rank and 
talents, preceptress and governess of the Princess Charlotte, the 

224 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 56. 

lamented " rose and fair expectancy of the state." The young 
lady is the bosom friend of Lady Noel Byron, the widow of the 
immortal roue poet. I talked much with her on the subject of 
their separation. She describes Lady B. as a perfect angel, and 
although it may be necessary to make some allowances for the ex- 
aggeration of warm female friendship, the high character and intel- 
ligence of Miss Murray forbids the possibility of her coming to very 
erroneous opinions on a subject so important and so much disputed. 
Lady Byron mixes very little in society, but is much engaged in 
doing good. 

August 23. — I took Margaret this morning to Westminster 
Abbey. She was much pleased, and I experienced anew and in a 
greater degree the awe and pleasure which the first view of this 
sublime and interesting edifice occasioned me. 

This has been a busy day. Mr. Duer and I went to breakfast 
with Mr. Rogers, the poet, an agreeable, kind-hearted old gentle- 
man. He is very rich, although a poet, and lives in handsome 
style ; has a fine collection of pictures and other pretty things. 
After we left him he sent me a beautiful copy of his poems with 
illustrated vignettes. 

Dover, Aug. 30. — We left London at eleven o'clock on the top 
of the Dover coach. There was a crowd about the door, attracted 
by the Duke of Wellington's carriage. He appears to be popular 
here at any rate, whatever the London radicals may think of him. 
August 31. — Colonel Cockburn introduced me this 
^^"^ '"^ morning to Colonel Arnold, commander of engineers 

Arnold. o ' o 

and of the garrison at Dover. This gentleman is son 
of the infamous Benedict Arnold. He appears about my age ; a 
short, handy little man, and apparently a gentlemen of good man- 
ners. It seems to be hard to apply the severity of the Levitical law 
to innocent men in these enlightened times, but I felt, v/hile in his 
company, as if my prejudice was busied in " visiting the sins of the 
father upon the child." 

Paris, Sept. 3. — We started much earlier than yesterday, and 


having less distance to go, arrived in Paris at eight o'clock P.M., 
and came to lodge at the boarding-house of Madame Bonfils, 
superbly situated in Rue de Rivoli, opposite the gardens of the 
Tuilleries, of which I have a fine view from my chamber windows. 
Soon after we came, a storm of thunder and rain announced to the 
people of Paris that we had arrived. 

Sunday, Sept. ii. — Horse race at the Champs de Mars at one 
o'clock, and afterward to the fete of St. Cloud. I am ashamed to 
record it, Sunday as it was ; but what is to be done ? If such scenes 
are witnessed at all it must be on the day which Christians call 
Sabbath. We intended to go to church this morning to hear an 
eloquent Protestant clergyman, Mr. Athan6se Coquerel, who is 
preaching in the churches of our faith at present ; but until one 
o'clock it rained very hard, notwithstanding which the races took 
place, and the queen and royal family were there, and a tolerable 
concourse of people. It stopped raining at one o'clock, and the 
men came out ; but the course and all the grounds around were an 
ocean of mud. The horses running looked like the wizard horse 
of Leonora, only their halo was of a less luminous nature. We 
came away after the first two heats, and pursued our way to St. 
Cloud. A horse race in Paris is not by any means the same thing 
as an English one, nor even one of ours. I do not think it a 
favourite amusement of the French. It is the only one which does 
not appear to excite them. lis sont gais a la messe, et grave a la 
course. The principal race to-day was won by a horse of the Due 
d'Orl^ans, beating Lord Seymour, who has been in the constant 
habit of carrying away the purses from the natives. One would 
have thought there was something exhilarating in this, but there 
was no shouting, no triumph amongst the men, or flashing of bright 
eyes amongst the women. 

The weather by this time had cleared, and the sun came out 
bright, so that when we arrived at St. Cloud the immense little 
world was congregating fast. Men, women, and children in their 
newest finery crowding to the long avenue, in which booths are 

226 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Elat. 56. 

erected. Such chattering, such a variety of queer noises, such 
singular exhibitions, so many lures to attract customers to buy 
their wares, to witness their spectacles, or to eat their pat^s, were 
almost an excuse to break the Sabbath for once to visit the/^/^ 
de St. Cloud. I shall not probably see another. We passed the 
first hour in viewing the apartments of the palace ; the state 
apartments are open to everybody on Sunday. These we saw, of 
course, but were further permitted to pass through all the other 
apartments. Nothing can be more magnificent ; the pictures are 
exceedingly fine, and there are several vases of Sevres porcelain 
superb beyond imagination. 

I remember that the king's bed, and those of all the family, 
even the princesses, are hard mattresses, a few inches thick, with 
no paillaisses, and the bedsteads only about a foot from the floor. 

The French are certainly Sabbath-breakers, and their religious 
habits do not set as close as ours, but one thing I will remark in 
their praise : In all this concourse of people to-day, formed prin- 
cipally of the lower classes, assembled for pastime and enjoyment, 
when eatables of all kinds were exhibited, such as cakes, hot 
waffles, pat^s, etc., I did not see a drop of spirituous liquor, nor do 
I believe there was one on the ground. No drink but lemonade, 
carried about by old women who carry as much acidity in their 
faces as on their backs. 

September 12. — Having determined to leave Paris for Geneva 
to-morrow, we have been employed in making preparations. Mr. 
Chazournes and I went in pursuit of a carriage, and succeeded in 
getting a commodious travelling calleche of a Mr. Panhard, Rue 
Bergue, for which I am to pay him two hundred francs. We take 
post horses, and go by the Dijon route across the Jura mountain. 
George W. Lafayette is in town. I did not know it until yester- 
day, when I called and left my card. I received a note from him 
this morning stating that he was engaged with lawyers to-day in an 
affair of family business, but would be with me to-morrow. This 
I interdicted, and requested him to postpone his visit until after 
our return. 


Well, I have seen Taliogni. She danced this evening at the 
French Opera, in the ballet of the Sylphide. It was a single per- 
formance, and, fortunately, fell upon our last night in Paris. The 
immense theatre was crowded in every part. Bradford obtained 
excellent places for us in the course of the day. The opera was 
the "Siege of Corinth," which, did not interest me ; but the ballet 
was certainly the poetry of motion and the sunlight of beauty. 
I never saw anything of the kind before which is not routed horse 
and foot out of my recollection by the force of this fascinating 
spectacle. Not only the calypso of the night, but her attendant 
nymphs all danced and moved and floated like beings of another 
world. The piece is exactly the same as that gotten up in New 
York as an opera when Mrs. Austin was there, under the name of 
the " Mountain Sylph " ; but, fortunately, there was no singing or 
speaking here. It would have been too much, when one of our 
senses was completely absorbed, to have another invaded, and in 
danger of being captured ; it might have ended in nonsense. The 
whole affair was so nicely managed, the machinery worked so 
Well, the sylphs flew in the air, as if their little delicate feet had 
never touched the ground, and when their lovely sister died, four 
of them enveloped her in a net of gold and, each taking a corner, 
flew up with her into the air, where, I take it for granted, the 
Sylphic Pere la Chaise is situated. Or, perhaps, the beauteous 
beings of their race, when defunct, are taken up to exhale in the 
regions above, and return to us in the form of dew-drops to 
sparkle on the leaves of the newly blown rose, or hide in the vel- 
vet recesses of the fragrant violet. Taliogni is small, delicate, and, 
I think, pretty, and her dancing excels that of any other woman 
as much as Mrs. Wood's singing does Mrs. Sharp's. It is not only 
in great agility and dexterity, but it is the perfection of grace and 
beauty, and addresses itself to the imagination, as it is, in fact, half 
the time something between earth and heaven. When this pleas- 
ant affair was ended, we went to Tortoni's and took our ices. 
This is the most fashionable house in Paris. 


En Route, Sept. 13. — We left Paris this morning in our car- 
riage, with a number of little comforts, and put ourselves fairly en 
route for Geneva. The weather was bad ; it rained with short 
intervals during the day, and the uninteresting country through 
which we passed, rendered more gloomy by the dark clouds which 
hung over it, and the cheerless, uncomfortable villages, with more 
mud and dirt even than usual, gave us frequent occasion to laugh at 
the absurdity of the application of the term " la belle France " to 
such a country. It is worse in every particular than when I was 
here before, and we are travelling through the very heart of France, 
and its most celebrated provinces. Formerly the cheapness of liv- 
ing in the country was more commensurable with its value (I speak 
not of Paris) ; but now the extortion, the cheating of all kinds 
with which the traveller comes in contact, is greater than in Eng- 
land, and you are not so well served. The porter at Madame Bon- 
fils made a regular charge of fifteen sous for every trifling errand 
he performed for me. At one of the towns, this evening, I sent 
a boy for two candles to put in the lamps of the carriage. The 
young rascal said they cost him a franc, and I had to pay him ten 
sous for his trouble. It is so in everything. There is a gang of 
female harpies stationed in the lobbies of all the theatres in Paris 
to prey upon strangers. I suffer from being prima facie a John 
Bull, and he is fair game in France. They have a double motive in 
swindling him : their cupidity and the dislike they bear to him. 
France is fattening upon the food she loathes. These polite, disin- 
terested ladies make me pay twenty sous for opening the box door, 
and demand the same sum for a little programme which is sold at 
the door for three sous. 

Geneva, Sept. 17. — This place is filled with English and Amer- 
icans. Our hotel is the fashionable resort of the latter, of whom 
there were thirty-four a few days since. There are now here, be- 
sides our party, Abraham Schermerhorn and family, Mr. George 
Ticknor and family, of Boston ; Horace Binney, of Philadelphia, 
and his daughter, Mrs. Otis ; General Jones, Charles McEvers, Mr. 

1S36.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 229 

and Mrs. BrinkerhofT, Mr. and Mrs. Ashurst, of Philadelphia ; 
Charles C. King and his brother, James T. Irving, Jr., Mr. Whit- 
ney, the Rev. Henry Morton, Mr. and Mrs. Hammond, our fellow- 
passengers in the " England," and others, perhaps, whom I have 
not met. From my recollection of what Geneva was like when I 
was here before, I was surprised, until I came now, that it should 
be made a place of so great resort. It was then a dull, confined 
place with dirty, narrow streets, and nothing but the beautiful lake 
to recommend it. I find it now a splendid, agreeable town ; streets 
of handsome houses have been erected on grounds which were for- 
merly the marshy shores of the lake, and the course of the clear, 
blue, rushing waters is confined in massive stone docks, with a 
splendid bridge ; a pretty island has been formed, in which is a 
bronze statue of Jean Jacques Rousseau ; spacious public gardens 
ornament the part of the town remote from the lake. Immense 
hotels have been erected for the accommodation of the hosts of 
travellers who pass through on their way to Italy, and the whole 
has an air of splendor and gayety which must surprise the rigid, 
formal descendants of the reformers of John Calvin's severe days. 

I am here with my three daughters and son-in-law, and sur- 
rounded by friends and acquaintances, my window overlooking the 
brightest blue waters the sun ever shone upon (except, perhaps, 
those of Lake George) ; splendid new edifices on the one hand and 
the green shore of the lake, with a majestic perspective of snow- 
clad mountains, on the other. I think I may say with the patriarch 
of old, " It is well to be here." One look put of Mary's bright eyes 
(and oh ! how much brighter than I expected to see them), with 
her whole heart mixed up with mine, conspire to render the few 
days of my sojourn in Geneva among the happiest of my life — but 
how to get away ! 

The English swarm so on the Continent. They are generally 
vulgar people, without taste, and with their pockets well filled, and 
the French and Swiss do love so dearly to handle their money that 
the market is spoiled for us Americans, who can better appreciate 

230 THE DIARY OF PIIILir HONE. [/Etat. 56. 

the Vvilue of the articles offered for sale. This place has benefited 
more by the intercourse of foreigners than any on the Continent. 
It is on the direct road to Italy, and so pleasant that travellers in 
transit linger here as long as possible, besides which, many pass their 
summer here, and several English families have delightful villas on 
the banks of the lake, cultivated so much in the English style that 
the country around Geneva has greatly the appearance of England, 
which makes it a Paradise compared with the adjacent country 
which the traveller must pass to reach it. This all comes from 
John Bull ; the substantial stone docks and lofty edifices, the sight 
of which from my window affords me so much pleasure, are all 
based upon English guineas. I have heard it estimated that four 
milUons of pounds sterling are annually spent on the Continent, and 
Geneva gets a fair share of it ; the Americans, too, are spending a 
great deal of money in Europe, and unfortunately there is no reci- 
procity in the trade (except as relates to England). How few of 
the dollars which we expend in France, Switzerland, or Italy, ever 
find their way back again. The people of those countries do go 
out to America sometimes, it is true, but for what ? Not to enrich 
the country, but themselves ; to carry on business and make their 
fortunes, if they can. Latrobe and Pourtalais and a few others are 
exceptions to these remarks, but it is the general course of the 

September 24. — The day of parting arrived at last. It is 
amusing to see how shy travellers (the English particularly) are of 
each other. They regard fellow-travellers, not as persons thrown 
in their way, whose society and conversation may afford pleasure 
and instruction, but who may rob them of their breakfast, or antic- 
ipate the post-horses. How different in our country, where 
travellers meeting on the road ask and answer questions, give and 
receive information, compare notes, and often form agreeable asso- 
ciations ; and these Europeans have the impudence to curl their 
disgusting mustaches and ridicule those amiable traits in the Amer- 
ican character. Yankee inquisitiveness forsooth 1 that's the way we 
come to know so much more than they. 


FoNTAiNEBLE.\u, Sept. 25. — We were en route at eight o'clock 
in the wake of a carriage and four horses with a Count " Quelque 
Chose," his wife and child, which the etiquette of the road forbade 
our postilion to pass. Whilst we were changing horses at Joigny, I 
scraped acquaintance with our antecedent count (addressing him 
first, of course), and found him a sociable little man, and his wife 
an agreeable person. " Don't, father," said Margaret, but I was 
determined to give him a specimen of Yankee freedom of manners, 
and quite certain am I that neither of us were losers by the exper- 
iment. We travelled in company all day, and are at the same 
hotel. , 

Sunday brings no holiday for France. Everything goes on the 
same as on another day ; the labors of the husbandmen are not 
suspended ; the hammer rests not on the anvil ; the shops are 
open, and carts loaded with wine and other merchandise pursue 
their wonted course on the roads where workingmen are employed 
in breaking stone. You see no groups of well-dressed people, as 
in England and our own blessed land, responding willingly to the 
summons of the cheerful village bell. I should like to know how 
this suits our reverend gentlemen who are so fond of visiting the 
Continent of late — the Springs and the Wainwrights, the Taylors 
and the Mortons. They cannot convert the Frenchmen, that's 
certain. I suppose they pray for them. 

Paris, October 3. — George W. Lafayette made us a long visit 
this morning. He came in town last evening from La Grange. The 
family are very desirous that we should go out to see them, but our 
time is too short to permit it. He looks very well, talked much 
of his father, and gave us a great deal of information about the 
Trois Jours, the trial of the Carlist ministry, and other interesting 
events in which the general and himself bore conspicuous parts. 
Our meeting was quite tender ; the style of greeting was somewhat 
amusing to Mr. Ludlow, and Margaret. We kissed each other on 
both cheeks. 

Havre, October 7. — It rained with little intermission all the 

232 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 56. 

morning. The prospect of our sailing to-morrow is not encourag- 
ing. We went on board the ship, the " Sylvie de Grasse," and a 
splendid ship she is. My bosom swells and my heart warms to see 
my beloved stars and stripes floating over vessels in this port, 
superior to those of any other nation. They are so trim and neat, 
so beautiful and yet so majestic ; they hold the same station in the 
commercial marine which their nation is destined to hold amongst 
the nations of the earth. This is not bravado nor prejudice, every- 
thing tends to it, and I do "most potently believe it." 

Havre, October 10. — The storm continues with unabated 
violence, and we are still detained 'in this triste vestibule of "Az 
belle France^ I am punished now for having occasionally used 
this term when I wished to ingratiate myself with Frenchmen to 
whom I was writing or talking. We have certainly found nothing 
"belle'''' about it, except Paris and two or three of the royal palaces. 
We have found very little comfort or enjoyment. French poUte- 
ness went out of fashion with the Bourbons, and "place aux etran- 
gers " means nothing more now than a struggle amongst all classes 
and professions to cheat the English and Americans out of as much 
money as possible. The best thing they have is their noble king, 
and his amiable family ; and Louis Philippe can no longer go 
abroad amongst his loyal subjects in the confidential manner to 
which his manly frankness would prompt him, from the constant 
apprehension that some vile assassin may be lying in wait to blow 
him up or to plant the parricidal steel in his bosom. 

I repeat that France is not the country which I formerly knew. 
Perhaps I am changed myself. The eyes of fifty-six may not see 
things couleur de rose like those of forty ; but it cannot be, I 
found England improved, as I fancied, and I know of no reason 
for my being prejudiced in my preference. My opinion may be 
influenced, too, by the constant bad weather I have experienced 
in France. I think there has not been a day since I crossed the 
Channel that it has not rained some part of the time, except on 
those five delicious ones which I passed with my children in 


Geneva ; then, indeed, the heavens seemed to smile in unison with 
the joyous feelings of my heart. The wind here blows an unrelent- 
ing hurricane from the westward. Oh, for one of those north- 
easters which have so often caused me to fret while at home ! 
Here they come "with healing in their wings," if ever they do 
come, which my experience causes me to doubt. 

At Sea, October 12. — I was not so much pleased as might 
have been expected, when we were summoned on board the 
"Sylvie de Grasse" this morning; for, although we were about 
to be released from our tedious detention, the prospect was not 
by any means encouraging. The wind had changed a little to the 
southward, but the sky was black and stormy in the west, and there 
was evidently only a temporary suspension of the terrible storm 
which has raged for a long time. We came on board a little 
before noon, and the ship was towed out of the narrow harbour by 
a steam-boat. By the time the pilot left us, the gale recommenced 
with increased fury, and a more miserable set of people were never 
congregated together. Every hole and corner of the ship is filled 
with passengers. A dozen women and as many children of all 
ages, and men of all nations, speaking every language. Sea-sick- 
ness in its direst aspects attacked us all and sent us to our state- 
rooms before night. 

October 20. — We amuse ourselves so well that the time does 
not pass heavily. Eating and sleeping, the two great occupations 
of a sea life, are carried on with amazing spirit, and I perform my 
part of both without the least defalcation. Besides these, I read a 
great deal, and confine my reading to French, in which I think I 
am greatly improved ; there are a great many good books on 
board. Then we play whist, several parties of which are formed. 
Mons. Tavout, Mr. Niles, Professor Longfellow, and I make one. 
We all play pretty well, and our bet never exceeds a franc a game. 
Some of the passengers play on the violin and other instruments, 
and on Thursday evening we got up a cotillion on deck — Ainsi va 
le temps. 

234 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.Etat. 56. 

October 28. — After a night of fine sailing, with the wind at 
north-east, which enabled the passengers to make up the arrears of 
sleep of which the gale of the previous night had deprived them, I 
went on deck this morning at sunrise, and never did the sun rise 
on a more beautiful morning. We were on the edge of the banks 
of Newfoundland, in about 49 degrees of longitude, the thermome- 
ter at 50, immense numbers of aquatic birds, including ducks, hov- 
ering over our heads or resting on the waves. Amongst the other 
wonders of the deep a whale gave us a call and passed off astern. 
It soon fell calm, and the boundless ocean presented a smooth 
expanse of untroubled waters. The horizon in the west has a sin- 
gular appearance. There is a fog which has an astonishing resem- 
blance to land. I can almost fancy that the shores of our own 
Long Island lie exposed to my longing eyes. 

November 3. — At eleven o'clock last night I went upon deck. 
The ship was sailing finely, at the rate of ten knots, before the 
wind, with studding-sails all standing. At one I was awakened by 
the noise and confusion upon deck, occasioned by a dreadful squall, 
which commenced at about one o'clock and continued four hours. 
Fortunately, the studding-sails had been taken in before the storm 
commenced, but it came on so suddenly and with such violence 
that the main top-gallant-sail and the mizzen-top-sail were torn 
away from the masts. I was alarmed, for I supposed the wind had 
changed to the south-west, and I knew we were not far south of 
George's bank ; but this was not the case, the wind during the 
whole time was aft. The night was very dark, and the wind furious 
beyond description ; but we have made nearly four degrees in the 
last twenty-four hours. 

After the gale of last night had subsided the wind came out 
ahead, which was succeeded by a calm until five o'clock, when it 
began to blow again, and there was another violent gale which 
lasted all night. The motion of the ship was so disagreeable that 
I went to my birth. At ten I went on deck for a short time. The 
ocean appeared to be on fire. I have never seen this luminous 


appearance to so great a degree ; not only the spray from the ship's 
bow, but every crested wave, as far as the eye could reach, ap- 
peared to be formed of myriads of bright stars. The pitching of 
the vessel was so great that I could not remain on the deck, but 
returned to roll again in my berth. These have been two dreadful 
nights in succession, and so near the shore too. 

November 6. — The wind is still most obstinately ahead. We 
are within half-a-day's sail of our port, with no more chance of 
getting in until the wind changes than we had a week ago. 'We 
have fallen more than a degree south of Sandy Hook. It is like 
being locked out-of-doors on a stormy night, without a night-key 
and all the family asleep. 

November 8. — This morning found us in the same position. I 
packed up my concerns and made all ready for going ashore. The 
pilot came on board at eight o'clock, but it became nearly calm, 
and the wind we had was nearly ahead. The news-boat boarded 
us, and took off several of our passengers at noon, but they gained 
nothing by it, for there was not a breath of wind during the re- 
mainder of the day. The spacious bay lay all around us without a 
ripple to disturb its bosom. Vessels of every description were to 
be seen immovable like our own, and so we continued until the 
steam-boat came down with the " Charlemagne " in tow, and after 
separating from her was attached to our ship. Another steam-boat 
with the " Pennsylvania," the Liverpool packet of this day, took the 
"Oxford" (which had come up with us with the fair wind while we 
were lying to). It was a splendid illustration of the power of 
steam. Our noble ship was l}'ing like a log on the water when the 
little steam-boat took her by the arm, and cantered off with her at 
the rate of eight miles an hour. We arrived at the dock, foot of 
Rector street, at seven o'clock, where we found Charles Brugiere, 
who had heard accidentally of our arrival from Mr. Saligny (one 
of our renegade passengers), who arrived only an hour before us. 
Margaret and I, with Brugiere, took a carriage, and at eight o'clock 
I was in my own house. I entered the room in which my wife and 

236 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 56. 

son were without their having the least intimation of our arrival ; 
for the packets of the 24th of September and the ist of October, 
in both of which were letters announcing our intention of sailing 
in the " Sylvie de Grasse," have not arrived, and if they were, the 
case would not have been different, for no intelligence of our ar- 
rival had reached the city until an hour before we came to the 

The surprise and the joy of this unexpected meeting were 
almost too great, but we were soon the happiest little group in New 
York. My family and immediate friends are all well ; there is a 
great deal of gossip which must find a place in this journal, but 
not now. I am once more at home by my own fire-side, — in my 
domestic circle, — doubly dear to me from a four months' absence. 
November 18. — The series of five pictures by Cole, 
pLLres which he calls the "Course of Empire," I have seen 

in their progress, but the pleasure of seeing them fin- 
ished was reserved for me until this morning. I went with my 
wife to the Gallery of the National Academy, where they are ex- 
hibited. My expectation, great as it was from the parts I saw 
before, has been more than realized. The conception is sublime 
and the execution admirable. Cole has immortalized himself; 
he has executed the greatest work, in his department of the arts, 
which our country has produced, and one which would take high 
rank in the best collection of Europe. 

November 23. — This charming actress arrived to- 
Tree? ^^^ ^^ *^^ " Roscoc " from Liverpool. I saw her twice 

at the Haymarket in August, and was much pleased 
with her acting, and, while I was in London, Mr. Price informed me 
that he had engaged her for the United States. She was playing 
in a new tragedy by Sergeant Talfourd, which had a great run at 
the Haymarket during the summer vacation at Drury Lane and 
Covent Garden. I fancied I could perceive in Miss Tree the 
resemblance to Mary Schermerhorn which Fanny Kemble notices 
so beautifully in her pretty budget of impertinences. 


December 6. — In the evening I attended the anniversary 
meeting and dinner of the St. Nicholas Society. Gulian C. Ver- 
planck, the newly elected President, presided, with Washington 
Irving and John A. King as Vice-Presidents. There were not 
more than sixty who sat down to dinner, and it was rather a forced 
concern. I doubt if there will be another anniversary. There 
is great difficulty in keeping up the other societies, even with the 
advantage they have in forming a rallying-point for their respec- 
tive countymen lately arrived, a sort of home abroad, affording 
strong claims upon national sensibility ; but in our society there is 
no such bond of union, and the zeal with which some of its 
founders entered into the undertaking has visibly subsided. 

December 7. — I dined with the governing committee of the 
Union Club at Windust's. There were twenty-three present. 

The committee consists, when full, of thirty-five, to whom all 
the concerns of the club are intrusted ; there are two hundred 
and fifty members, not a sufficient number to organize properly, 
but it was resolved to procure a house and commence immediately. 
A sub-committee of seven was appointed to carry the plan into 
effect and to admit members. I am on this committee, much 
against my will. If this club can be gotten up like the English 
clubs, it may succeed ; little short of that will meet the views of 
the members. 

December 9. — The electoral vote of good old 

assa- Massachusetts has been given, as of right it should be, 

chusetts. o 7 o J 

for Daniel Webster, President, and Francis Granger, 
Vice-President. These electors have done their duty, and may 
carry with them a good conscience. The very thought (wild and 
hopeless as it is) of having Daniel Webster President of the United 
States should make the heart of every American leap in his bosom 
and cause him to dream of the days of George Washington. 

The Woods and the Forrests are no longer to be found in this 
country, but we have had the Groves for some time, and now a 
Tree has been transplanted on our shores, and never did a sweeter 
or a lovelier exotic grace our dramatic soil. 

23S TTTE DTARY OF rillLTP IIOXE. [.Etat. 56. 

But to quit bad punning and descend to sober history, Miss 
Ellen Tree made, this evening, her first appearance in America, at 
the Park Theatre, in the character of Rosalind in " As You Like 
It," and Pauline in a sort of melo-drama called "The Ransom." 
Her Rosalind was a most fascinating performance, full of grace and 
refinement and the part well adapted to her style of acting. The 
play, admirable as it is, and abounding in Shakespeare's finest pas- 
sages and most touching sentiments, is usually tiresome in the per- 
formance, and can be best appreciated in the closet ; but on this 
occasion sweet Rosalind was so ably supported by all the other 
characters that it went off delightfully. The charming debutante 
was well received by a prodigiously crowded house, and was saluted 
by cheers and waving of hats and handkerchiefs. I was struck 
again, as in London, by the great resemblance of Ellen Tree to my 
daughter Mary. Her profile is much like hers, and her smile so 
like that it almost overpowered my feelings ; they are both pretty 
well off for nose, neither being of the kind called "snub " by any 
means; "quite to the contrary, I assure you," as Temple Bowdoin 
says ; but Mary's eyes are finer and more expressive than Miss 
Tree's. Fanny Kemble was right in this matter. 

December 14. — This gentleman has written two 
Mr. Biddie. letters, addressed to the Hon. John Quincy Adams, on 
the subject of the derangement of the currency, in 
which he has exposed the fallacious arguments of the President 
and his Secretary of the Treasury, and exposed in language most 
eloquent, and reasoning the most conclusive, the mischief resulting 
from the gratuitous interference of these functionaries in matters 
which they evidently do not understand, and with which they had 
no concern. These letters are published, and have created a lively 
interest with all those vvho have read and can understand them ; 
but, alas ! how small a proportion of those whose voices control 
the affairs of the country are of this number. 

If any man in the United States has reason to be proud of his 
standing in the community it is Nicholas Biddie. Assailed as he has 


been by the malice and ignorance of unworthy men in high stations, 
he has performed his course with dignity and forbearance, illumi- 
nating his official path as by a sunbeam, and without the exulta- 
tion of little minds, overcoming and placing under his feet all his 
opponents. If any man but Andrew Jackson had been at the head 
of the government, the Bank of the United States would still have 
been in existence, and the check which commercial and national 
prosperity has received would not have overwhelmed individuals in 
its operation, and occasioned the present unexampled embarrass- 

December 16. — The anniversary of the great fire. It is just a year 
since the desolating calamity took place, which destroyed property 
to the amount of more than twenty millions of dollars. To the 
honor of the merchants, and as an evidence of the prosperity of the 
city, the whole is rebuilt with more splendor than before. No 
pecuniary engagements have been broken in consequence of the 
losses attendant upon it, and all this with no actual, effectual relief 
from the general or State governments, who, instead of extending 
their protecting arms over their worthy children, are at present 
occupied in throwing embarrassments in* the way of trade, and 
checking, as far as they can by impertinent interference, the course 
of public improvement and individual enterprise. 

December 30. — I went this evening to a party at Mrs. Charles 
H. Russell'^, given in honor of the bride, Mrs. William H. Russell. 
The splendid apartments of this fine house are well adapted to an 
evening party, and everything was very handsome on this occasion. 
The house is lighted with gas, and the quantity consumed being 
greater than common, it gave out suddenly in the midst of a cotil- 
lon. This accident occasioned great merriment to the company, 
and some embarrassment to the host and hostess, but a fresh 
supply of gas was obtained, and in a short time the fair dancers 
were again " tripping it on the light fantastic toe." Gas is a hand- 
some light, in a large room like Mr. Russell's, on an occasion of this 
kind, but liable (I should think) at all times to give the company 
the slip, and illy calculated for the ordinary uses of a family. 

540 THE DIARV OF niTLTP ITONE. [^tat. 57. 


TANUARY I. — The beginning of another year. That of the 
*^ last was inauspicious; the ruins of the great fire were still 
smoking, to remind our merchants and other citizens of the twenty 
millions of dollars which they had lost, and of which those melan- 
choly ruins were the gloomy monument ; but the indomitable spirit 
of the merchants soon recovered from the loss, and although they 
bent severely under the burden of their affliction, they were too 
proud and too honest to break, and if they had been let alone by 
General Jackson and the crew who surround him and minister to 
his vanity and humour his prejudices, they would have recovered 
their losses and been easy in their affairs; but the close of 1836 
has been hard, indeed, to those who owed money, and depended 
upon others for the means of meeting their engagements ; money is 
very scarce, and the usurers are fattening upon their two and one-half 
and three per cent, a month, which they make indirectly by the 
medium of bills of exchange. The poor borrowers are forced to 
pay for the ingenuity of the lenders in avoiding the penalties of the 
usury laws, and the price of money is talked of as familiarly as 
that of bank stock or cotton. 

During the last year I, too, have had my troubles ; my property 
nominally is worth as much as ever it was, but I am largely in debt, 
and cannot convert anything I have into money but at a sacrifice 
which I am unwilling to make. So I am compelled, like other 
poor devils, to bow to the men who have the money in their 
hands. This comes a little hard to me, who am not used to it ; 
but I must put my pride in my empty pocket and hope for better 

I have crossed the broad Atlantic, — an event which I little 
dreamed of at the commencement of the year ; saw Old England 


to great advantage; enjoyed Ics dcliccs de Paris; passed through 
France and a small corner of Switzerland ; spent a few happy days 
with my dear daughters on the border of the lovely Lake Leman ; 
had a short, and tolerably agreeable, voyage back to New York, 
escaping thereby many storms and tedious weeks endured by all 
those who sailed after us ; and arrived again in the midst of my 
friends, confirmed in my opinion that home is the best place for a 
man of fifty-six years of age. On the whole, I have great reason 
to be thankful for the blessings I enjoy. My health is good, my 
family happy, and my position in society respectable. I am not 
too old to have a taste for the enjoyments of life, and my circum- 
stances admit of a reasonable indulgence in them. I am fond of 
literature, have a sort of smattering in the fine arts, and perceive 
no failure in those faculties which are required for their enjoyment. 
The year 1837 has commenced ; my prayers for better times are, I 
trust, sufficiently mingled with thanksgivings for the undeserved 
blessings I enjoy. 

January 3. — Mr. Lawrence, the Mayor, kept open house yester- 
day, according to ancient custom ; but the manners, as well as the 
times, have sadly changed. Formerly gentlemen visited the Mayor, 
saluted him by an honest shake of the hand, paid him the compliments 
of the day, and took their leave j one out of twenty taking a single 
glass of wine or cherry bounce, and a morsel of pound-cake or New 
Year's cookies. But that respectable functionary is now considered 
the mayor of a party, and the rabble, considering him " hail fellow 
well met," use his house as a Five-point tavern. Mr. Lawrence 
has been much annoyed on former occasions, but the scene yester- 
day defies description. At ten o'clock the doors were beset by a 
crowd of importunate sovereigns, some of whom had already laid 
the foundation of regal glory and expected to become royally drunk 
at the hospitable house of His Honor. The rush was tremendous ; 
the tables were taken by storm, the bottles emptied in a moment ; 
confusion, noise, and quarrelling ensued, until the Mayor, with the 
assistance of his police, cleared the house and locked the doors, 

243 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 57. 

which were not reopened until every eatable and drinkable were 
removed, and a little decency and order restored. 

I called soon after this change had taken place ; the Mayor related 
the circumstances to me with strong indignation, and I hope the 
evil will be remedied hereafter. But this comes of Mr. Lawrence 
being the mayor of a party, and not of the city. Every scamp who 
has bawled out " Huzza for Lawrence ! " and " Down with the 
Whigs ! " considers himself authorized to use him and his house and 
furniture at his pleasure ; to wear his hat in his presence ; to smoke 
and spit upon his oarpet ; to devour his beef and turkey, and wipe his 
greasy fingers upon the curtains ; to get drunk with his liquor, and 
discharge the reckoning by riotous shouts of" Huzza for our Mayor ! " 
We put him in, and we are entided to the use of him. Mr. Law- 
rence (party man as he is) is too much of a gentleman to submit to 
this, and sometimes wishes his constituents and his office all to the 
devil, if I am not greatly mistaken ; and if he rejects (as he has 
now done) their kind tokens of brotherly affection, they will be for 
sending him there ere long, and will look out for somebody of their 
own class, less troubled than he with these aristocratical notions 
of decency, order, and sobriety. 

January 7. — The venerable Abraham Van Vechten 
y\^^ died yesterday in Albany, in the seventy-fifth year of 

his age. He was one of the descendants of the Dutch 
settlers of Albany. A lawyer of the highest class, a statesman of 
the glorious old Federal school, honest in his politics and in his 
private character as the sun which shone above him, of a mind 
strong and vigorous as the winter of his -native city, and a heart 
soft as the early summer breeze of the South. 

January 12. — The arrangement which was so 
Disturbed""'^^ happily effected a few years since by the public spirit 

of Mr. Clay, which was understood by all parties to be 
inviolable, and which healed the wounds of Southern feeling with- 
out sacrificing the great manufacturing interests of the country, has 
now been assailed by the ruthless hand of party, and our little 


representative, Mr. Cambreling, was the chosen instrument to 
sharpen the weapon, and give its direction. He has introduced 
into the House of Representatives, as Chairman of the Committee 
of Ways and Means, a bill to alter the tariff duties upon foreign 
manufactures, so that the reduction which, by Mr. Clay's com- 
promise, was to be made gradually, is anticipated four years. 
Another section of the act takes off immediately the duties upon 
salt and coals. If this high-handed measure is sanctioned by the 
President-elect (of which there is very little doubt, for Cambreling 
is his acknowledged mouth-piece), a flame will be raised which 
may in time endanger the union of the States, prostrate the active 
industry of the East and North, and render the whole country 
dependent upon foreigners. No wonder General Jackson and his 
administrators, executors, and assigns are popular in England. 
They are an admirable party for the interest of John Bull. Huzza 
for Jackson and Van Buren ! Down with the New York Whigs who 
opposed the " commercial representative," and were so near 
sending an honest man to take his place ! These cries will be 
mighty popular in the "old countr}," and have more weight 
and unction than even " God save the King ! " or " Down with the 
Bishops ! " 

January 14. — The ship "Wellington," of 740 tons burden, 
was launched this day from Bergh's ship-yards. She is intended 
for Grinnell, Minturn, & Co.'s London line of packets. The great 
duke (as the Spaniards used to call him) ought to be highly 
gratified at this complim.ent from republican America. How things 
are changed ! A supposed predilection for Old England, charged 
upon the Federal party thirty years ago, lost them their political 
ascendency. At that time men were afraid to wear a red watch- 
ribbon, lest it might be taken for a symbol of Toryism and bring 
the wearer a broken head ; but now the two old women who govern 
England and America are great cronies, and their subjects better 
friends than they were before the battle of Concord ; and the name 
of the Prince of Conservatives, the greatest aristocrat in Europe, 


graces the bows of one of the noble ships of which America has 
reason to be proud. 

February 16. — This terrible old man, whose term 
resi en ^j. ^f^^^ (happily for the country) will expire in a little 

more than a fortnight, has been committing one of 
those acts of violence in which he habitually indulges, toward a 
senator whose high character has hitherto preserved him from the 
personal insults of black ... of meaner rank than his present 
assailant. The " old General," as he is affectionately called ; the 
"greatest and best," as he is foolishly called; or the "second 
Washington," as he is profanely called by the band of sycophants 
who have made him what he is, — is determined to die game ; or, to 
use an expression which was brought into the American vocabulary 
about the same time that he assumed the crown and sceptre, he 
goes " the whole hog " in insulting the feelings of that part of the 
American people who have yet remaining some veneration for 
their country's institutions. Mr. Calhoun laid before the Senate 
a letter which he had received from the President, calling him 
to account for remarks made in debate in regard to that most 
mischievous measure, the removing the national deposits from the 
late Bank of the United States. The Executive arraigning a 
senator who represents a sovereign State, and that the proud State 
of South Carolina, and abusing him for the exercise of a constitu- 
tional right, — the free expression of opinion on the conduct of 
another branch of the government, delivered, it is to be presumed, 
in a decorous and orderly manner, or his brother senators would 
not have permitted it. William of Orange would never have worn 
the cro\vn of England had Parliament and the people been equally 
subservient to the dictates of power as are my dear, gullible coun- 
trymen. What would the Hancocks, the Adamses, and the Quincys ; 
the Jays, the Clintons, and the Hamiltons ; the Henrys, the Ran- 
dolphs, and the Madisons, — have said at the bare suggestion of such 
a radical defect within the space of fifty or sixty years in the fair 
fabric which their patriotic labours contributed to erect, as could by 

1S37] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 245 

possibility permit such a usurpation on the part of the executive 
magistrate? He could not wait until his time was out to vent his 
spleen against a political opponent. It was more convenient to 
" assume the responsibility " (a hateful Jackson term) before the 
fourth of March should have taken from his shoulders the mantle 
of official impunity. Or, perhaps, as " the old cocks teach the 
young ones to crow," this act was intended to instruct his suc- 
cessor and favourite in the art of governing upon patent Jackson 
principles, and to give him the exact length and breadth of the 
forbearance of the American people ; but, thank God ! Mr. Van 
Buren, although a wiser and a better man, does not enjoy the 
baneful popularity, at least in any important degree, of the present 
chief magistrate, and cannot (even if he were so disposed, which I 
am far from believing) ever trifle with the feelings of his country- 
men with the same indulgence. Mr. Calhoun, on presenting the 
letter to the Senate, repeated the remarks which had occasioned it, 
and with great eloquence, dignity, and self-possession appealed to 
that body to protect their privileges. 

M^RCH 4. — This is the end of General Jackson's administration, 
— the most disastrous in the annals of the country, and one which 
will excite " the special wonder " of posterity. That such a man 
should have governetl this great country, with a rule more absolute 
than that of any hereditary monarch of Europe, and that the peo- 
ple should not only have submitted to it, but upheld and supported 
him in his encroachments upon their rights, and his disregard of 
the Constitution and the laws, will equally occasion the surprise 
and indignation of future generations. The people's indifference 
will prove that the love of liberty and independence is no longer 
an attribute of our people, and that the patriotic labours of the men 
of the Revolution have sunk like water in the sands, and that the 
vaunted rights of the people are considered by them as a " cun- 
ningly devised fable." 

This is also the commencement of Mr. Van Buren's reign, the 
first New York President. He has said that it was " honour enou;:rh 

246 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.-Etat. 57. 

to have served under sucla a chief," and will no doubt for a time 
speak with reverence of the ladder by which he has risen to the 
summit of ambitious hopes ; but I do not despair of him. He will 
be a party President, but he is too much of a gentleman to be 
governed by the rabble who surrounded his predecessor and ad- 
ministered to his bad passions. As a man, a gentleman, and a 
friend, I have great respect for Mr. Van Buren. I hate the cause, 
but esteem the man ; and, although I differ in my expectations from 
some of my political friends, I am disposed to give him a fair 
chance. What a tide there is in the affairs of men ! The refusal 
of a Whig Senate to confirm his appointment as Minister to Eng- 
land made him President of the United States. 

March 6. — The new President was sworn into 
inauguraUon. office at the Capitol, on Saturday, at noon. The cere- 
mony was conducted as usual, in the presence of the 
" high dignitaries " of the nation, foreign ministers, etc., and as 
many of the " sovereigns" as could gain admittance to the presence 
of their " servant." Mr. Van Buren made an inaugural speech, 
which I think is very good. The principles' on which he promises 
to govern are unexceptionable, and if he had not committed himself 
unnecessarily, and I think improperly, on the subject of slavery, 
by saying that he intends to veto any bill which may be passed by 
Congress to regulate that knotty subject in the District of Columbia, 
and if he could only have kept himself quiet about the old lion, 
who is now about to drag his reluctant steps away from the den, 
I should have said. Hurrah for Martin the First ! His glorifi- 
cation of the "hero of a considerable number of wars" is too 
good to be lost. 

M\RCH 15. — This has turned out a great affair; 
r. e s e s gygj-yj-j^jj^g, ^gj^|. ]j}.g clock-work. I arose at six o'clock. 

Reception. ^ ° 

The morning was raw and looked stormy, but soon 
became bright, and it proved a pleasant day. At seven o'clock 
the committee of arrangements, consisting of myself, Messrs. Draper, 
Barstow, Leavitt, Johnson, Smith, and Benson, started in the steam- 


boat and arrived at Amboy at half-past nine. On the arrival of 
the cars from Philadelphia we received Mr. Webster. The flags 
which had been prepared were hoisted on his coming on board, 
and we started immediately. V,'e arrived at the steamboat wharf 
near the Battery at three o'clock ; here the crowd was immense ; 
the dock-houses, sheds, and that part of the Battery nearest the 
place of landing were covered with people. Mr. Webster was 
placed in my barouche, in which also D. B. Ogden, Peter Stagg, 
and myself were seated. An escort of horsemen, to the number of 
one hundred, preceded the barouche, and the carriages with the 
members of the committee followed. Broadway was filled with 
people from the Battery to the American Hotel (Mr. Webster's 
quarters), and he was cheered by the crowd on his whole progress 
with great enthusiasm. On his arrival at the hotel he addressed 
them briefly from a front window. The committee escorting Mr. 
Webster, with Mr. Granger, Mr. Abbot Lawrence, and a few others, 
went, at six o'clock, to Niblo's saloon, where an immense concourse 
was assembled by previous notice. The meeting was organized 
by the appointment of David B. Ogden, chairman, Robert C. Cor- 
nell, Jonathan Goodhue, Nathaniel Weed, and Joseph Tucker, vice- 
presidents, and Hiram Ketcham and Joseph Hoxie, secretaries. 
The resolutions passed at the first meeting were read, together 
with the correspondence. Our committee then ascended the stage 
with Mr. Webster, and I introduced him with a brief speech. 

The chairman then read an address to Mr. Webster, to which 
he replied in a speech of two hours and a half, — one of those 
glorious exhibitions of talent for which he stands unrivalled in 
America. He gave a clear and forcible history of the administra- 
tion for the last eight years ; laid open his views and the course of 
his political conduct ; told the Whigs, in • glowing and animated 
terms, the duty they owed the Republic, even while in a minority ; 
and sent home four or five thousand as good-looking men as I ever 
saw assembled, delighted and instructed, and unconscious that they 
had been standing in one position for nearly four hours. The use 

248 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [.'Etat-s;. 

of the Governor's room in the City Hall has been obtained for 
Mr. Webster, where he will receive visitors to-morrow from twelve 
until two o'clock. 

March 18. — Notwithstanding the hard times and my partici- 
pation in their effects, I could not resist the temptation of having 
Mr. Webster to dine with me to-day ; so I had a nice little party, 
and an exceedingly pleasant one. " The man whom every true 
American delights to honour " (there is no harm in stealing out of 
my own pocket) was more at his ease than I ever before saw him 
at dinner-table ; he was talkative, cheerful, full of anecdote, and 
appeared to enjoy himself as much as he caused others to enjoy 
themselves, and we made a very gay termination of an exceedingly 
sorrowful sort of a week. Our party consisted of the following : 
Mr. Webster, Mr. David B. Ogden, Chancellor Kent, Robert Ray, 
Mr. Granger, Charles King, Mr. James Brown, Simeon Draper, Mr. 
George Griswold, President Duer. The troubles in Wall street 
kept away James G. King and Morris Robinson. A number of 
failures have taken place to-day ; only the forerunners of greater 
disasters. The names are not worth recording, for such events 
will soon cease to be worthy of remark 

March 20. — The prospects in Wall street are getting worse and 
worse. The Josephs do not go on. The accounts from England 
are very alarming ; the panic prevails there as bad as here. Cotton 
has fallen ; the loss on shipments will be very heavy, and American 
credits will be withdrawn. The paper of the Southern and Western 
merchants is coming back protested. Why should I be in such a 
scrape ? 

March 28. — The general meeting of the Whigs was held this 
evening at Masonic Hall, to receive the nomination of Aaron Clarke 
for mayor. I was there for a short time. The great hall was 
filled, and great enthusiasm prevailed. I hope it will not evaporate. 
A much greater object is to be attained than the mere personal 
triumph of Aaron Clarke over John J. Morgan. This will be the 
first important election which has been held since Mr. Van Buren 


assumed the reins of government, and it will be well to let him know 
whether the people approve of his driving (as he has intimated he 
intended to do) according to the Jackson plan. 

A meeting of merchants was held this day at the Merchants' 
Bank, Wall street, for the purpose of agreeing upon a letter to be 
presented to Air. Biddle, requesting the Bank of the United States, 
at Philadelphia, to step forward in this most appalling crisis and 
save the commercial community of New York. Mr. Biddle and 
the cashier, Mr. Jaudon, have come on purpose to ascertain the 
true state of things, and, if possible, to afford relief. 

I was invited to attend this meeting ; never was seen such an 
assemblage of woe-begone countenances. Despondency had taken 
place of that indomitable spirit which usually characterizes the mer- 
chants of New York, and Nicholas Biddle, the insulted and pro- 
scribed of x\ndrew Jackson and his myrmidons, is the sun to which 
alone they can look to illumine the darkness. Did ever man enjoy 
so great a moral triumph ?. He is the only man, and the bank over 
which he so ably presides the only institution, in the country which 
has stood erect before the implacable hostility of Andrew Jackson. 
Mr. Biddle, placing himself upon the firm base of honour and in- 
tegrity, has retaliated the wrongs which he has received from a 
portion of his fellow-citizens, by serving them whenever a suitable 
occasion occurred, and now he comes forward in the day of their 
adversity to relieve them to the extent of his ability. He can do 
so much, and most assuredly will. 

IVIarch 31. — This was the greatest dinner I was ever 
° "^ at, with the exception, perhaps, of that given to Wash- 

ington Irving on his return from Europe. I had the 
honour of being an invited guest. The Association of Booksellers in 
the principal cities of the Union have a great annual or semi-annual 
feast, at which eminent literary and scientific men are invited to 
join the trade. This, I believe, was the first in New York ; it was 
given at the City Hotel, and was gotten up, arranged, and conducted 
in admirable style. At five o'clock yesterday, the Association, with 

250 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. C/Etat.57. 

their guests (I should think to the number of fifty), began to as- 
semble, and when the company was seated the large dining-room 
was quite full. Mr. Crittenden told me this morning that two hun- 
dred and seventy-seven persons sat down to the table. Mr. David 
Felt presided in handsome style, assisted by F. Harper, Charles 
Carv'ill, W. Jackson, and James Conner, as vice-presidents, George 
Dearborn, master of ceremonies, and John Keese as toast-master. 

Among the guests whom I noticed were Rev. Mr. Schroeder, 
Rev. Orville Dewey, Professor Follen, President Duer, and Professors 
McVickar, Anderson, and Renwick, of Columbia College, Chancellor 
Kent, Mr. Gallatin, Colonel Trumbull, Judge Irving, Washington 
Irving, Halleck, Bryant, Paulding, Hugh Maxwell, Dr. McMurtrie, 
Dr. Gray, Leggett, Herbert, Grenville Mellon, Inman, Weir, Chap- 
man, Drs. Ticknor, Gilman, DeKay, and Francis, besides many 
gentlemen connected with literature in Philadelphia and Boston. 

April 10. — One of the signs of the times is to be seen in the 
sales of rich furniture. Men who a year ago thought themselves 
rich, and such expenditures justifiable, are now bankrupt. 

Markets continue extravagantly high ; meat of all kinds and 
poultry are as dear as ever. The farmers (or rather the market 
speculators) tell us this is owing to the scarcity of corn ; but the 
shad, the cheapness of which in ordinary seasons makes them, as 
long as they last, a great resource for the poor, are not to be bought 
under seventy-five cents and a dollar. Is this owing to the scarcity 
of corn, or are the fish afraid to come into our waters lest they may 
be caught in the vortex of Wall street ? Brooms, the price of which, 
time out of mind, has been twenty-five cents, are now sold at half a 
dollar ; but corn is scarce. Poor New York ! 

April 21. — An evidence of the pecuniary distress which pervades 
the community is to be found in the reduced price of stocks and 
unimproved real estate. All the local bank stocks have fallen below 
par. Railroads and canals will not bring in many instances more 
than half their value a year ago. The Delaware and Hudson, which 
is now in a more prosperous condition than at any former period, is 


selling at sixty-five per cent., and Mohawk and Hudson Railroad 
about the same. As to lots which have been the medium of enor- 
mous speculations, the following fact will tell their story : Lots at 
Bloomingdale, somewhere about One Hundredth street (for the 
whole island was laid out in town lots), which cost last September 
$480 a lot, have been sold within a few days at $50. The immense 
fortunes which we heard so much about in the days of speculation 
have melted away like the snows before an April sun. No man can 
calculate to escape ruin but he who owes no money. Happy is he 
who has a little, and is free from debt. 

April 25. — This volume commences at the most gloomy period 
which New York has ever known. The clouds which have been 
for six months hovering over us liave become darker than ever, 
and no eye can perceive a ray of hope through their obscurity. I 
participate personally, to a great degree, in the distress and em- 
barrassment of the time. The difference in my situation and pros- 
pects between the commencement of the last volume of this journal 
and the present time is so great that it requires a good share of 
philosophy and resignation to keep up under the reflections which 
flow from the contrast, and I would throw down this steel pen 
(which don't write over and above well) and give up the task of 
journalizing on the threshold of this volume, if I had not a 
lingering hope that I may yet, one of these days, have cause to 
write in a more cheerful strain. 

April 26. — A meeting of merchants was held last 
Great Meeting j^jj^^ ^j. Masonic Hall, " to take into consideration 

of Merchants. ° ' 

the present distress, and to devise suitable measures of 
relief." I took the chair of the largest and most respectable 
assemblage I ever witnessed. 

The resolutions are pretty well spiced, and some softening alter- 
ations were made at my suggestion ; as they are, they contain 
nothing but the truth, and the truth which in such an emergency 
ought to be spoken. But I understand some of the Wall-street 
gentlemen (particularly the few who owe no money) are opposed 

252 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^'Etat. 57. 

to tlie meeting, or a,ny other which may express the feeUngs of the 
suffering merchants and traders. But those who attended the 
meeting must have perceived a spirit there which cannot be 
quenched. The following committee was appointed, under one of 
the resolutions, " to repair to Washington and remonstrate with the 
Executive against the continuance of the specie circular, and in 
behalf of this meeting, and in the name of the merchants of New 
York and the people of the United States, to urge its immediate 

I attended last evening the dinner of the governing committee 
of the Union Club, at Windust's. Nineteen present. The Execu- 
tive Committee are engaged in preparing the house and laying in 
stores and furniture. They expect to be ready in about three 
weeks. This club will be well suited to the times. A single gentle- 
man will be able to get a good dinner and his wine for half the 
price he would have to pay at a hotel. 

I attended this evening an extra meeting of the directors of the 
Bank for Savings, called in consequence of applications from the 
Bowery and the Greenwich Savings-Bank to help them in their 
present difficulties. The poor and the labouring classes of the 
community, who constitute a large proportion of the depositors in 
those institutions, urged by their necessities, or by a want of con- 
fidence in all money institutions, are withdrawing their funds in a 
most alarming manner. The two banks above named will not be 
able to keep up, and I fear that even our great bank, with a deposit 
account of upward of three millions of dollars, will find it extremely 
difficult to meet the nm which will be occasioned by the suspension 
of the others. Our funds have been safely and judiciously invested 
in State stocks bearing five and six per cent, interest, — good, if 
anything in America may be so considered in these times ; but the 
run has already been dreadful. Up to yesterday the drafts in the 
present month amounted to ^280,000. We have sold a large 
amount of stocks at a very heavy loss, and every exertion is making 
by as discreet and able a set of men as ever had the control of a 


public institution ; but there is reason to fear that the State stocks 
of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio will not much longer com- 
mand money at any price, so entirely has confidence been destroyed 
in the community. A panic amongst such people as the bulk of 
depositors in savings-banks cannot be restrained ; it goes on to 
the destruction of themselves as well as the sources on which they 
depend for support. But there is no reasoning with them. Like 
the wild and frightened horse, their onward career cannot be 
checked by a curb or bridle, and reason might as well be employed 
to arrest the stormy waves of ocean. 

April 28. — Mr. Webster's great speech, delivered 
. r. c sers ^^j. Niblo's OH the i=;th of March, is published in the 

Speech. -^ ' ^ 

Whig newspapers, beside many thousand copies in 
pamphlet form. If the people would read this admirable address, 
it could not fail to produce the most salutary effects ; but they dare 
not put themselves in the way of having their faith in their idols 
shaken ; they heed not the charmer, " charm he ever so wisely." 
Mr. Webster did not aim at a display of eloquence in this address. 
His object, as he avowed it at the time, was to make a plain state- 
ment of the measures of the late administration, and a history of 
the causes which led to the present unparalleled state of distress 
and embarrassment here, and in all parts of this once prosperous 
country. Still it contains occasional flashes of eloquence in the 
most brilliant style of the accomplished orator. 

May 2. — The number of failures is so great daily that I do not 
keep a record of them, even in my mind. 

May 6. — The committee of merchants met at five o'clock to 
receive the report of the sub-committee, who returned this morning 
from Washington. Their interview with the President, as was ex- 
pected, produced nothing. He insisted upon a written communica- 
tion, to which he sent a reply. He will do nothing in regard to 
the specie circular, will not call an extra session of Congress, and 
will not take into consideration the subject of the government for- 
bearance to enforce the payment of bonds. The committee are 


under strong excitement, and I fear the consequences of a meeting 
which is to be held on Monday to receive this report. But there 
was no resisting it. It is a dangerous time for such a meeting ; 
combustibles enough are collected to cause an awful conflagration ; 
men's minds are bent upon mischief; ruin and rashness, distress 
and despair, generally go together, and a spark may blow us up. I 
must preside at this meeting, for it would be dishonourable to desert 
these men now. If I have influence, I will exert it to prevent 

]May 8. — The Dry Dock Bank stops payment to-day. There 
was a meeting yesterday at the Mayor's office of the presidents and 
cashiers of the other banks in relation to the subject of helping the 
Dry Dock Bank. I saw the Mayor in the afternoon, who told me 
that they refused unanimously to come forward, on his representa- 
tion that it was out of the question. This bank, with a capital of 
$200,000, has discounted to the amount of $1,200,000. It is not a 
safety-fund bank, but one of the pets selected by the government 
as a safer depository of the public money than the Bank of the 
United States, and has a government deposit of $280,000, which 
will go in part payment of the cost of the fatal experiment. 

But three banks at Buffalo, all safety-fund banks, are under in- 
junction and their doors closed. The Legislature immediately 
passed an act directing the bank commissioners to assume the pay- 
ment of their notes, which will consequently be received and paid 
at the .Manhattan Bank. This will probably sweep away the famous 
safety-fund. The bubble will burst, and the public creditors of 
rotten banks will look in vain hereafter to that delusive hope for 
protection from loss. Where will it all end ? In ruin, revolution, 
perhaps civil war. 

May 9. — The meeting of merchants took place last 

AieTting. evening, at Masonic Hall, in pursuance of a resolution 

adopted at the meeting of the 25th of April, to receive 

the report of the committee appointed to go to Washington. Great 

anxiety prevailed throughout the city in relation to this meeting ; 


fears were entertained that in the present excited state of the public 
mind, particularly of that part of the communitj' of which the com- 
mittee were a part, violent proceedings might take place, and 
tumult and disorder destroy all chance of producing good by the 
meeting, — proceedings which would be an example and sanction to 
the lower orders of the people when bent (as they will soon be) 
upon mischief of some sort. I partook largely of these feelings, and 
determined to exert all my powers and influence to give a proper 
direction to the action of the committee of arrangements for the 
great meeting, and a hard time I have had of it. We met at three 
o'clock, at Delmonico's. The report of the Washington committee, 
which was prepared by Isaac S. Hone, is exceedingly well done. It 
was adopted, with some amendment ; resolutions were proposed, 
true enough and very good ; but, having been prepared under strong 
excitement and a sense of injuries inflicted by the government 
were so strong, in my judgment, as to defeat the object we have in 
view, viz., to raise up a party opposed to the men who have brought 
us into our present unhappy situation. One in particular charged 
the President with statements "unfounded in fact;" to this I 
made serious objections, but without avail, until I was compelled 
to declare that I would not preside at the meeting unless the lan- 
guage I objected to was stricken from the resolution. I prevailed, 
and was allowed to alter the resolution, which was then adopted. 

The great meeting took place at half-past seven. The same 
officers were appointed ; the report and resolutions were read by 
Isaac S. Hone, who made an excellent address, explaining and 
elucidating some points in the report. Mr. Bryan was loudly called 
for, and made a good speech. The report was accepted, the reso- 
lutions adopted, the meeting adjourned, and the immense multitude 
retired without the slightest act of indecorum, much to the mortifi- 
cation of some of the adherents of the party in power, who hoped 
that this assemblage of the finest fellows in the State of New York 
would, by some act of violence, destroy the influence which the 
justness of their cause begins already to produce in the minds of 


men of all parties, and which will undoubtedly rend the State from 
IMr. Van Buren at the next election. I am thankful that the situa- 
tion in which I was placed enabled me to infuse a spirit of modera- 
tion into the proceedings. As they are, they do us credit, and will 
have a favourable influence over the minds of men in other parts of 
the country. 

A constant nm was made to-day for specie on all the other banks, 
which will inevitably drain them all in a week, T/ie banks will be 
compelled to suspend the payment of specie, and the Legislature must 
pass an act, before they adjourn, to suspend, for a given period, the 
operation of the law forfeiting the charters of banks refusing to pay 
specie. Mr. Van Buren's precious safety-fund cries " Enough ! " on 
receiving the first blow ; the rotten fabric falls like the walls of 
Jericho on the first blast of the trumpet. 

The Crisis,— ^^^ ^°- — ^^^ experiment has succeeded; the 
Banks sus. volcano has burst and overwhelmed New York; the 
^''" *" ■ glory of her merchants is departed. After a day of 

unexampled excitement, and a ruthless run upon all the banks, 
which drew from their vaults $600,000 in specie yesterday, nearly 
as much having been drawn on Monday, the officers held a meeting 
last evening and resolved to suspend specie payments. 

It was inevitable ; and the banks will be sustained in this meas- 
ure by all good citizens. The Legislature must pass an act imme- 
diately, suspending the operation of that part of the safety-fund 
law which annuls their charters on a refusal to pay specie ; other- 
wise we shall be worse off than ever, having no circulating medium 
at all. They must also repeal the law which forbids the issuing of 
bank-notes under five dollars. I regret the necessity for the latter 
measure, having been always in favour of the law. It worked well, 
and would have continued to do so but for the accursed Jackson 
and Benton experiment (the word makes me sick. I wish it could 
be drummed out of the English language). 

The savings-bank also sustained a most grievous run yesterday. 
They paid three hundred and seventy- five depositors $S 1,000. 

iS37-] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 257 

The press was awful ; the hour for closing the bank is six o'clock, 
but they did not get through the paying of those who were in at 
that time until nine o'clock. I was there with the other trustees, 
and witnessed the madness of the people, — women nearly pressed 
to death, and the stoutest men could hardly sustain themselves ; but 
they held on as with a death's grasp upon the evidences of their 
claims, and, exhausted as they were with the pressure, they had 
strength to cry, " Pay ! Pay ! " 

While we were in session intelligence was brought that the 
banks had suspended specie payments. Great fears were enter- 
tained that these measures would produce serious consequences 
when they became known, particularly those adopted by the Bank 
for Savings, where there are twenty-five thousand depositors, and 
those generally of the poorest and most ignorant classes. I went 
down this morning ; the notice was hung out at the door of the 
bank. A crowd was collected, which continued during the day, 
but I do not think there were at any time more than one hundred 
persons. Some were a little savage, but they seemed to require 
explanation only. It was a sort of recompense for their disap- 
pointment, which they were entitled to ; and when I addressed 
them, and some of the other trustees who were present made the 
explanations they wanted, they were easily pacified, and went away, 
by the tens and twenties, tolerably well reconciled to their disap- 
pointment, and two hours before sunset the street was cleared. 

In the afternoon the trustees met in the Mayor's office. I was 
mortified to be there, and expressed myself freely in reprobation of 
the pusillanimity which led them to give up the ship of which they 
had the command, I do not know by whose order the place of 
meeting was changed at this interesting moment ; but it was a 
sneaking affair, and most of the trustees thought so. 

During the day Wall street was greatly crowded ; but there was 
no riot or tumult. On the contrary, men's countenances wore a 
more cheerful aspect than for several days past. The suspension 
of specie payments will restore confidence, the men of capital will 

258 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [^tat.57. 

suffer by the ileterioration of the value of the circulating medium, 
and John Bull (if he, too, has not been compelled to adopt the 
same measure ere this) will scold furiously, and stigmatize the 
Yankees as a nation of swindlers ; but honest men who are in debt 
and wish to pay, and mechanics who are willing to work, will have 
cause to rejoice. As for myself, I am in the first predicament, and 
cry, Laus Deo ! The limb is amputated, the symmetry of the body 
spoiled, but the life of the patient is saved. The new mayor has 
done his duty like a man. The troops were out during the day, 
and Major-General Hays, with his regiment of Clubadiers, have 
shown themselves at various points in strong force. Thus ends 
this most eventful day. 

May II. — A dead calm has succeeded the stormy weather of 
Wall street and the other places of active business. All is still as 
death ; no business is transacted, no bargains made, no negotia- 
tions entered into ; men's spirits are better, because the danger of 
universal ruin is thought to be less imminent. A slight ray of hope 
is to be seen in countenances where despair only dwelt for the last 
fortnight, but all is wrapped in uncertainty. Nobody can foretell 
the course matters will take. The fever is broken ; but the patient 
is in a sort of syncope, exhausted by the violence of the disease 
and the severity of the remedies. 

May 12. — The banks of Philadelphia suspended specie pay- 
ments yesterday, except the Bank of the United States, and that 
must follow. It is impossible that that institution, mighty as it is, 
and reluctant to enter into the measure, can stand alone. 

The Baltimore banks have also suspended. It cannot fail to 
become general. The commercial distress and financial embarrass- 
ment pervade the whole nation. Posterity may get out of it, but 
the sun of the present generation will never again shine out. 
Things will grow better gradually, from the curtailment of business, 
but the glory has departed. Jackson, Van Buren, and Benton 
form a triumvirate more fatal to the prosperity of America than 
Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus were to the liberties of Rome. 


News from 

The London packet-ship " WelHngton " arrived yes- 
terday, bringing news to the fourteenth of last month. 
Everything in England is tending to a commercial crisis 
like that in which we are placed. The great American house of 
George ^V"ildes & Co. has been sustained by the Bank of England. 
They owe the enormous sum of two million pounds. The bank 
sustains them, because, if they fall, they must carry all the others 
with them. The United States must ruin all the American houses, 
and they in their turn will cause such general embarrassments that 
even the Bank of England will not be able to stand. 

Mw 19. — A Baltimore paper, after stating the report (which 
does not distress me as much as some things which I have heard, 
seen, and felt) that General Jackson " has lost by the recent 
commercial reverses so large a sum as to render it possible that 
his old age may be one of poverty even, instead of ease and opu- 
lence," introduces the following beautiful extract, than which 
nothing can be imagined more appropriate : — 

" So, the struck eagle, stretched upon the plain, 
No more through rolling clouds to soar again, 
Views his own feather on the fatal dart 
That winged the shaft that quivers in his heart 
Keen are his pangs, but keener far to feel 
He nursed the pinion that impelled the steel." 

May 20. — The part of Beatrice is, I think, the 
Ellen Tree, bcst of her acting. She played it last night, for her 
benefit, to a full house. There is a refinement, a grace, 
about her which suits the character. Miss Tree has not the force 
of Fanny Kemble, but more sweetness. She has less genius, but 
more nature. The Beatrice of the former is a virago ; the latter 
makes her a spoiled child ripened into a wa>nvard, fascinating co- 
quette, but a lady always. 

My daughter and I called the other day upon Miss Tree, and 
left an invitation to dinner for to-day. She declined, pleading a 
promise to play this evening for Hill's benefit. She returned our 

260 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [/Etat. 57. 

visit yesterday. I was not at home. My daughters were exceed- 
ingly pleased with her, and enjoyed her visit greatly. All who 
know this lady, at home and here, speak of her in warm terms of 
commendation. She is intelligent, modest, and agreeable, and 
wholly uncontaminated by her profession. 

The following party dined with us : Captain Marryat, I. S. 
Hone, Bankhead, Dr. McLean, Hay, President Duer, William 
Johnson, R. Freeman, Henry Brevoort, and Stevenson. 

The lion, Captain Marryat, is no great things of a lion, after all. 
In truth, the author of " Peter Simple " and "Jacob Faithful " is a 
very every-day sort of a man. He carries about him in his manner 
and conversation more of the sailor than the author, has nothing stu- 
dent-like in his appearance, and savours more of the binnacle lamp 
than that of the study. He appears pleased with the little he has 
seen of this country, and very desirous to see more ; but the bad 
times will deprive him of much of the attention and hospitality to 
which his talents and celebrity entitle him. 

May 22. — The loss of life by steamboats in this 
bumTd °^ country, and especially on the Western waters, is sliock- 
ing in the extreme, and a stigma on our country ; for 
these accidents (as they are called) seldom occur in Europe, where 
they do not understand the art and mystery of steam devices, or, 
indeed, of ship-building, better than we do. But we have become 
the most careless, reckless, headlong people on the face of the 
earth. " Go ahead " is our maxim and pass-word ; and we do go 
ahead with a vengeance, regardless of consequences and indifferent 
about the value of human life. What are a few hundred persons, 
more or less ? There are plenty in this country, and more coming 
every day ; and a few years in the life of a man makes very little 
difference in comparison with the disgrace of a steamboat being 
beaten in her voyage by a rival craft. 

May 25. — The English writers indulge themselves 

greatly of late in quoting out-of-the-way words and 

queer sayings peculiar to the people of this country. 

I reckon," as Brother Jonathan says ; " go the whole hog," to use 


1837-] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 261 

a Yankee expression ; and other phrases of that kind which occur 
frequently in the novels and stories with which the British press 
abounds, prove that they begin to take a little notice of us, and we 
shall soon become as proud as the happy individual who boasted 
that the prince on a certain occasion had honoured him by his 
notice, and ordered him to stand out of the way. 

May 26. — A deadly calm pervades this lately flourishing city. 
No goods are selling, no business stirring, no boxes encumber the 
sidewalks of Pearl street ; stocks have fallen again, but not back to 
the prices at which they were before the suspension of specie pay- 
ments. No remittances come from other States, and even where 
debtors are able and willing to pay, there is no means of getting 
the funds to New York. The French and English packets are 
greatly behindhand, as if to give us all the bad news they will 
bring in one grand coup. In the upper part of the city we shiver 
under the chilly blasts of a backward spring, and burn more coal 
than we can afford to pay for. Very few houses are being built, 
except in some cases like mine, where we began before the " evil 
day " came, and must go on. Lots which a year ago were like 
" rough-edge guineas," and brought any price for fear they might 
run away, stand now in the same places, and do not look nearly so 
pleasant nor so valuable as they did then. " Gold and silver we 
have none," and there is no change either in our prospects or our 
currency. No man has anything to comfort him unless it is he 
who is out of debt, and has no sympathy for the misfortunes of his 

May 27. — I dined with the gov^erning committee of the Union 
Club, the first dinner in the club house, No. 343 Broadway. 
The house will be open to the subscribers on Thursday next. It is 
well fitted up, the furniture neat and handsome ; the servants are 
good, and, above all, there is a most recherche chef de cuisine. 
Subscribers will get a better dinner and pay less for it than at any 
hotel in town. It is a great resource for bachelors and men 
"about town : " but I do not see how we married men can be 


induced to leave our comfortable homes and families to dine "en 
gar(on " at the club, even under the temptation of Monsieur 
Julien's bon diners a la Paris. 

May 29. — Captain Marryat called to see us this morning. I 
like him better than I did at first ; but he has very little refinement 
of manner, and his conversation does not partake of the ease and 
fluency which characterize his writings. 

May 30. — Mr. Webster, accompanied by his wife, is making a 
tour of the Western States. He has been received in all the princi- 
pal toNvns with great demonstrations of respect. Public dinners and 
barbecues have been tendered to him in great profusion, and 
speeches made and answered at every place where there was a town- 
house or hotel large enough to hold the people. Even in Nash- 
ville, Tenn., General Jackson's own dunghill, a public meeting of 
the citizens was held, and a deputation appointed to invite him to 
partake of the hospitalities of the town. It would be amusing to 
see Mr. Webster at a Tennessee barbecue, with General Jackson 
as one of his entertainers, — the man who has done more mischief 
to the country than any other, proposing the health of him who has 
done the most to avert it. 

Mr. Webster is boldly nominated in many of the Whig papers 
for the next President after the curse of Jacksonism shall have been 
removed from the land. This is premature ; but it may be the 
means of keeping out of the field second-rate men, on whom the 
party cannot unite. I am clear for using the best materials we 
have. Webster or Clay, — nothing short of this. If we cannot 
have either, then let the dear people have another dose of Van 

May 31. — We rode out this afternoon to Mr. Schermerhom's. 
The weather is now warm and pleasant and the country beautiful. 
The grass will grow, though desolation stalks through the streets 
of our city ; the trees will put forth their leaves and blossom, not- 
withstanding the suspension of all profitable business ; the flowers 
are dressed in all their gaudy and smiUng array, as if to mock the 


melancholy faces of the suffering merchants ; and the birds sing 
merrily, regardless of the sighs and groans of the lords of creation. 
June 2. — My wife and I drove out this afternoon to visit Mr. 
and Mrs. Henry Hoyt, who are living very pleasantly at Mr. Post's 
place, at Manhattanville, which belonged once to Lord Courtney. 
It is one of the finest places on the Island. President and Mrs. 
Duer were of our party. 

Pr'nce Louis JuNE 12. — This youthful scion of the Bonaparte 
Nupoieon stock, who was exiled for ten years from France for 
Bonaparte. ^ gjjj^ attempt at levolt made by him at Strasburgh, 
after walking Broadway during the last three or four weeks, sailed 
to-day in the " George Washington " for Liverpool. The ill-health of 
his mother is the alleged cause of his sudden return. He will go 
from England to Germany. He had better have stayed where he 
was, for he is likely to get into new scrapes where he is going. 
His formal attempt was not of a nature to create much alarm, or 
Louis Philippe would not have let him slip through his fingers 
when he had him. 

June 23. — The number of new books coming out 
New Books, every day from the English press, as well as ours, sets at 
defiance the hope of keeping up with those, even, whose 
merits, or the circumstance of a personal acquaintance with the 
author, or other local or individual interest, render it incumbent 
upon one to read. Besides the standard French and English works 
which my late visit to Europe leads me to peruse, I am now reading 
Bulvver's "Athens," — a new work highly spoken of, — when down 
comes the second volume of Lockhart's " Life of Walter Scott," which 
(as I have read the first) is irresistible. Then comes the funny 
"Pickwick Papers," which, though lighter, shoves aside the others. 
Then, Miss Martineau's " Society in America," which some say is very 
saucy, and others very good, cannot be neglected if one would be 
in the fashion ; and every feeling of good taste and friendship and 
patriotism calls upon us to lay everything else aside and read 
Washington Irving's " Adventures of Captain Bonneville." 


July 4. — The anniversary of the birth of our country was 
marked by most delicious weather. I wrote until noon, then 
walked down to see the crowd as far as St. Paul's Church. The 
bells were ringing a merry peal in honour of the day. Their sounds 
proclaimed the liberty and independence of my country ; but now, 
for the first time, there appeared to me mockery in those sounds. 
The glory seemed to have departed. We are nominally in the en- 
joyment of the liberty which was bequeathed to us by the men of the 
Revolution ; we have the glorious Constitution which they framed 
for us, but eight years of misrule has left us nothing but the empty 
name. Independent, too, we are of foreign control, — and long may 
God preserve us so ! — but the tyranny of public opinion, supporting 
measures of the most oppressive character, has destroyed that proud 
and manly personal independence which was heretofore the charac- 
teristic of my countrymen, and men are governed by self-interest, 
or bound down by a strong, but invisible, chain of party-spirit, a 
badge of slavery like that of Wamba, or the Serf of the North. 

August i. — The packets which sailed to-day took out a million 
and a half of gold and silver, and no American passengers ; this is 
as it should be. We must not buy any more goods or spend any 
more money in Europe until we have paid all we owe them. That 
is the only way to get out of the present scrape. If remittances 
continue in this way, with the aid of one or two cotton crops, and 
the realization of the present glorious prospects for the harvest, we 
shall not only get right, but the character of our merchants will 
stand higher than ever among the nations of the earth ; for they will 
have evinced a determination to be honest in despite of the exer- 
tions of a corrupt government to make them otherwise. 

The dial of the clock in the cupola of the City Hall was illumi- 
nated last night, and made a splendid appearance through the 
foliage of the trees in the park. It was attempted six or seven 
years ago, but soon discontinued, for some cause or other. A Whig 
corporation has been more successful, in this instance at least, in 
enlightening their constituents. 


August 9. — I was one of a party of twenty-four who dined on 
turde to-day at the Union Club House. The dinner was execrable, 
for a French artiste de cuisine knows nothing about turtle ; but we 
had good punch and wine, some excellent songs, many good jokes, 
laughing in season and out of season, and noise not a little, for we 
had John and Charles King, Bibby, John Stevens, Otis, etc., to say 
nothing of myself. Chancellor Jones presided, who is as punctual 
in filling the seat at the head of the club table as that on the bench 
of the Supreme Court. 

August 31. — The ocean has, by the accuracy of nautical skill, 
been almost converted into a railway or turnpike road. The fol- 
lowing circumstance is worthy of note : the packet-ships " South 
America," Captain Barstow, and " Garrick," Captain Robinson, 
sailed from New York on the ist of July, and entered the Mersey 
together after a fine run of eighteen days. The two ships were in 
sight of each other for 2,000 out of the 3,000 miles between New 
York and Liverpool. 

September 4. — Wallack opened the National Theatre 
Thertre ^^^^ ^^^ Italian Opera House) this evening, with the 

comedy of " The Rivals." He has brought with him 
from England a very strong company, several of whom appeared 
this evening. I never saw a play go off with more spirit. Wallack, 
in the dashing part of Captain Absolute, with a handsome scarlet uni- 
form coat, and his one beautiful leg (the other being a little crooked 
ever since he broke it by being upset in the stage at Brunswick), 
made a most captivating entree, was received with great applause, and 
made, at the falling of the curtain, one of the best, most graceful, and 
eloquent speeches I ever heard on such an occasion. But I fear he 
will not succeed. The National is the prettiest theatre in the 
United States ; but it is not in Broadway, and the New Yorkers are 
the strangest people in the world in their predilection for fashionable 
locations. In Paris the theatres are scattered over the whole city, 
and the f:ishionable milliners, jewellers, tailors, and all those who 
depend for their support upon the gay, the rich, and the fashion- 

266 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat.57. 

able, are to be found in by-streets, or in the mazes of narrow, 
dark alleys; but our people must have their amusements thrust 
under their noses, and a shopkeeper, if he hopes to succeed 
in business, must pay a rent of $4,000 or $5,000 in Broad- 
way, when he might be equally well accommodated for $600 or 
$Soo ten doors from it. But there is a greater obstacle to the 
success of the new establishment in the great number of theati^s 
at present open in the city, each one of whom has some " bright 
particular star" shining to attract and dazzle the eyes of the 

It is almost incredible that in these times of distress, when the 
study of economy is so great an object, there should be nine of 
these money drains in operation : The Park ; the old Drury, of New 
York, which has done well during the whole of the hard times ; the 
Bowery, with Jim Crow, who is made to repeat nightly, almost ad 
infinitum, his balderdash song, which has now acquired the stamp 
of London approbation to increase its eclat; the Franklin, in 
Chatham square; Miss Monier's Theatre, in Broadway, opposite 
St. Paul's, — litde and weakly, and likely to die ; the Euterpean Hall, 
Broadway, below Canal street, — short-lived, also, I suspect; the 
Broadway Theatre, next to Tattersall's, which has been handsomely 
fitted up, and is to be opened next week ; Mrs. Hamblin's Theatre, 
formerly Richmond Hill, where the Italian opera first placed its 
unstable foot in New York ; the Circus, in Vauxhall Garden, nearly 
in the rear of my house ; and Niblo's Vaudevilles, — the best concern 
of the whole at present, with a strong company playing little pieces 
a la fran^aise. Concerts, and rope-dancing, and other perform- 
ances of the Ravel family, consisting of eight or ten of the most 
astonishing performers in their line who have ever appeared in this 
city. If Wallack can stand all this, he is immortal. 

September 6. — The President's message was sent to 

Presi ent s Congress ou Tuesday. It is a long document, written 

with ability, but the most mischievous in its tendency 

that has ever been presented to the American people. It is loco- 


foco to the very core. It echoes the ophiions on the subject of 
finance of General Jackson, Colonel Benton, and Blair, of the 
"Globe;" recommends a separation of the fiscal concerns of the 
government from all the banks, and the substitution of the Treasury 
Department, and the issuing of treasury notes as a national 
currency, by which means all power will be concentrated in the 
hands of the executive and his myrmidons. It abuses the mer- 
chants, coaxes the agriculturists, and tries, as usual, to humbug the 
people. If the doctrines of this message are approved and sup- 
ported by the representatives of the people, adieu to the present 
prosperity and future hopes of America ! If not, Mr. Van Buren's 
career is closed forever. 

There are many gross misrepresentations in this message. The 
President puts forth his veto in advance on a Bank of the United 
States, and thereby deprives us of the chance of the only remedy 
(in my opinion) for the distresses and embarrassments of our mer- 
chants. The following paragraph occurs on this subject : " Again, 
to create a national bank as a fiscal agent would be to disregard 
the popular will, twice solemnly and unequivocally expressed. On 
no question of domestic policy is there stronger evidence that the 
sentiments of a large majority are deliberately fixed, and I cannot 
concur with those who think they see, in recent events, a proof 
that these sentiments are, or a reason that they should be, 
changed." Now this is not true, and the falsehood is advanced 
with so much boldness only to blind the eyes of the people who do 
not, one in ten of them, understand the subject. If the opinions 
of the people are to be taken from those of their representatives, 
they demand the re-incorporation of the late Bank of the United 
States ; but if General Jackson, in the plenitude of his withering 
power, was not only the government (as he styled himself), but the 
people also, then is Mr. Van Buren's assertion correct, for he 
defeated the intentions of Congress by vetoing the act ; and that he 
was hostile to the institution, there is, unhappily, the most abundant 



September 7, — There never was a nation on the 
^ , face of the earth which equalled this in rapid locomo- 

Despatch. '■ ' 

tion. The President's message was brought on to this 
city, by railroad, steamboats, and horsemen, and carried from 
hence to Boston, which place it reached in the inconceivably 
short period of twenty- four hours from Washington, a distance 
of five hundred miles. 

Poor Lynch died in Paris, on the 31st of July. He 
eat o om- .^ ^^.^ .^ ^j^^ papers which announce his death to have 

inick Lynch. 

been fifty years of age ; but I think it must be a mis- 
take. I always supposed him to be about my age. How deeply 
impressive should be the decease of such a man ! How many 
happy hours I have passed in his society ! No man has ever con- 
tributed so much to the refined enjoyment of the circle in which 
he moved. He sang and played beautifully, was the ornament of 
female society, and infused spirit and joviality into the dinner- 
parties of his male friends, where he was a constant and favoured 
guest. He was for many years a wine-merchant, and we are in- 
debted to him for some of the finest we have ever had. He intro- 
duced the chateau Margaux, for which famous vintage he contracted 
for several years, and furnished it finer than we ever had it before 
or shall have it again. We are indebted to him for the introduction 
of the Italian opera, and the inimitable Signorina Garcia, and her 
father and family came to New York under his auspices. He also 
was the master-spirit who established and conducted the musical 
soirees, a few years since, — the most refined entertainment we have 
ever had. And now poor L>Tich is gone ; his friends will utter an 
exclamation of grief when they hear of it, and his family will put on 
mourning, but not a glass of wine less will be drunk, nor will one 
person, except his immediate relations, deprive himself of a single 
amusement. Like a stone thrown into a lake which agitates the 
water for an instant, makes a few retiring circles, and leaves no 
trace upon its peaceful surface ; so his death will leave no chasm 
in the bosom of the society of which he was so great an ornament, 

I837-] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 269 

and will very soon be forgotten in the hurried progress of this 
world's events. And so it will be with me, and with all of us ; and 
it is better it should be so. This life is too short to be spent in 
unavailing regrets. Happy would it be for the survivors to reflect 
upon the insufficiencies of the enjoyments of this life and to prepare 
"for another and a better world." 

I finished my job of removing the Madeira wine to the garret 
room in the new house, where it is nicely arranged, in an excellent 
place. The quantity of Madeira and sherry removed is 2,023 
quart botdes and 237 gallons. 

September 13. — Another of my friends, one of the most delight- 
ful of my associates, died last night at Windust's Hotel, corner of 
Broadway and Leonard street. William Gaston, of Savannah, is no 
more. Mr. Gaston was a merchant of Savannah, of the most 
exalted and honourable stamp, upright in his dealings, agreeable in 
manner, amiable in disposition, benevolent in feeling, and hospi- 
table in his mode of living. His house was the stranger's home, 
and Savannah acknowledged him her first citizen. I have passed 
many happy hours in his company, but none with so much real 
enjoyment as when I visited him at a cottage which he formerly 
owned on Long Island, at the Narrows, near Fort Hamilton. Here 
he was a host indeed, gay, entertaining, and eloquent ; his little 
dinners witnessed " the feast of reason and the flow of soul." In 
large parties his powers were not always excited in the same 
degree ; and it was necessary to know him intimately in order to 
know what was in him, and what might be gotten out of him. 
Like all persons of sanguine temperament and enthusiastic disposi- 
tion, his spirits were unequal, and this may also have been attributed 
in him to another cause, peculiarly applicable to him. In early 
life he was engaged to marry a young lady in New Jersey (Morris- 
town, I believe) ; he left New York, full of love and anticipations of 
happiness, to fulfil his engagement, when he found the object of his 
affection dangerously ill, and soon followed her to the grave instead 
of the altar. This, to a mind of exquisite refinement and the most 

270 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^tat.s;. 

acute sensibility, was a shock never to be recovered from, and a 
loss never to be repaired. He lived and died a bachelor. 

September 19. — Forrest made his first appearance since his 
return, at the Park Theatre last evening, in the part of Othello. 
I was there a short time. The house was crammed in every part, 
and his reception warm and enthusiastic. I think him improving ; 
his acting is more quiet, and in person, deportment, and voice the 
Senate in its most palmy state never had so magnificent a com- 
mander, black or white, nor had ever Desdemona so good an 
excuse for her misplaced affection. 

September 21. — Congress are making very little progress in the 
important business for which they were called together ; the object 
seems to be to develop the views of the men who aspire to lead the 
several parties which hope to rise to political power in the turmoil 
which attends the disordered state of things. Mr. Rives comes out 
as a conservative against the administration, hoping to receive the 
aid of the Whigs (a pretty strong party, thank God !) to hoist him 
to power ; but the Whigs are not to be had for him. Mr. Calhoun, 
theoretical and visionary as he always is, has hitched upon Van 
Buren, but will not acknowledge it. He goes South against North, 
and would support the devil to lessen the political influence of New 
York. He has sagacity enough to discover that the doctrines and 
the measures of " New York's favourite son " are most inimical to 
New York, and is willing to support his suicidal measures to accom- 
plish his object. Webster and Clay, true as steel to the best 
interests of the country, pursue a straightforward course. The 
people must come to them, or the country is ruined, and it really 
looks now as if they were coming to them. Congress will do noth- 
ing effectual in the present extra session, but hope is not broken. 

September 23. — Everybody complains of the suc- 

Libeis. cess which attends the publication of libels on private 

character ; everybody condemns the depravity of the 

times in which, and the community by which, they are encouraged ; 

everybody wonders how people can buy and read those receptacles 


of scandal, the penny papers, and yet everybody does encourage 
them ; and every man who blames his neighbour for setting so bad 
an example occasionally puts one in his pocket to carry home to 
his family for their and his own edification. It is only for amuse- 
ment, it will not corrupt his morals. It is bad enough, to be sure, 
but the sale of one copy, more or less, will not make any difference 
in the circulation. 

The foregoing remarks are aptly illustrated in the following re- 
marks in an English newspaper, written no doubt by one of the 
numerous tribe of " preachers, not doers of the word : " " Charles 
Kemble cudgelled Westmacott, editor of a scurrilous paper, called 
the 'Age,' for libelling his daughter Fanny in the character of Ju- 
liet, shortly previous to their expedition to the United States ; the 
editor, however, consoled himself for these dry blows by the pecu- 
niary profit he derived from the sale of his scandalous chronicle, 
which was reprobated by everybody, but was to be found stowed 
under the sofa-cushion in every drawing-room." I wonder who 
cudgelled Fanny when she libelled the Yankees? 

September 28. — I attended this evening a meeting 
"odTt^"^''^ of the Historical Society, the first held in their new 
rooms, in the splendid edifice erected by the Stu)^esant 
Institute, in Broadway, opposite Bond street. Three rooms have 
been given gratuitously to the society for a term of ten years. The 
library (which is the most valuable in this country in books and 
manuscripts relating to the history of the United States, particu- 
larly the State of New York) has been well and tastefully arranged, 
and as it is now to be kept open during several hours of each day, 
it will no longer be, as heretofore, a sealed book to the members. 

October 2. — I went this evening to Vandenhoff's 
^^''■,^'^"" benefit, at the National Theatre. The house was 


crammed, for this gentleman has gotten into the good 
graces of the New York audience, and my friend Wallack, the 
proprietor, has found him a good card to play against Forrest at 
the Park. Mr. Vandenhoff played Hamlet, and young Wilding in 

272 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [^tat.57. 

the "Liar." I did not like him in Hamlet. I consider this charac- 
ter the most beautiful creation of the human imagination, and have 
some notions about the manner of playing it which few actors can 
ever come up to. Cooper did in his best days ; so did Kean, and, 
if I recollect aright, Conway did not fall much short of it. Van- 
denhoff s Hamlet wanted sensibility and pathos, that part of it at 
least which I saw, for I came away in the middle of the second 
act ; but Isaac Hone, whom I left behind, says there was a great 
improvement as the play proceeded, and that it closed finely. 
Young Wilding was capital. Mr. Vandenhoff's reading is excellent, 
and he has, by long practice, acquired a perfect knowledge of the 

October 5 . — I dined with Mr. Wallack, at the Astor House. 
The dinner was given to Vandenhoff at the close of his engagement 
at the National Theatre. It was one of the most pleasant affairs 
of the kind I have ever been engaged in. The dinner was capi- 
tal. I never saw a table better set out, better provided, or a dinner 
better cooked. The party was principally theatrical : Wallack, 
Vandenhoff, Rice, Hackett, Russell, of the New Orleans Theatre, 
Captain Marryat, Mr. Cramer, Colonel Webb, Dr. Holland, etc. 
We had an abundance of singing, reciting, story-telling, and imita- 
tions. Rice's negro songs and melodies were exceedingly fine. I 
never heard them before under similar advantages, and was per- 
fectly astonished at Jim Crow's powers in that department. He is 
one of the most entertaining men I ever met in company. Wal- 
lack gave us a beautiful recitation. It was a description of a ship- 
wreck, with many affecting incidents, as related by two different 
persons, a clergyman and a sailor ; they were as different as the 
pursuits and professions of the two narrators ; no two expressions 
were alike, and yet the same thrilling incidents were described, with 
the same touching effect. 

There was a fine scene between Wallack and Vandenhoff. The 
former addressed the company as Lord Meadowbanks presiding at 
the theatrical fund dinner, when he gave the famous toast, " The 


Author of Waverley," which brought out Sir Walter, and withdrew 
the veil from the great "Unknown." Vandenhoff rose as Scott, 
and made the acknowledgment in the very words he used on that 
interesting occasion. The imitation was no doubt perfect, for there 
was a vraisemblance about it which could not be mistaken ; it was 
admirable. I sat until nearly twelve o'clock, and the spirits of the 
company were then far from being exhausted. 

A letter is published in our papers which was addressed, during 
the panic in London about American affairs, to the governor and 
directors of the Bank of England, by Lieutenant R. F. Stockton, of 
the American Navy. This gentleman went out to negotiate a loan 
for the railroad and canal in New Jersey, in which he is a large 
proprietor. What authorized him to volunteer as the representa- 
tive of the American merchants I know not ; but he is not one of 
the timid sort, and does not often find his modesty crossing the 
path of his undertakings. At any rate, there is a great deal of most 
excellent sense in his letter, and it is said to have had a salutary 
effect upon the decisions of the bank, and done more to enlighten 
the public mind in London than anything which has been " said or 
sung " on the subject of American affairs. The following paragraph 
appears to me to contain in few words the essence of all that can 
be said about the connection between the banks and the people, 
and places the whole of the specie " humbug " in a proper point of 
view : " Men of wealth who hoard up gold and silver do not 
usually borrow. The banks loan to the industrious and working 
classes, and cannot of course receive gold and silver in return. 
They loan on personal credit, or on the security of lands and 
houses. The money so obtained from the banks is paid to the 
labouring classes, and the moment you destroy credit, and declare 
that nothing is valuable in a country but gold and silver, the notes 
come back to the bank for specie which they did not represent, 
whilst the property which they took in exchange for them, and 
which they honestly and fairly represented, is made worthless by 
evil combinations, and will not be received in payment." 

274 TPIE DIARY OF PHILIP. HONE. [/Etat. 57. 

Professor McVickar, in his most elaborate lecture on his favourite 
science of political economy, never elucidated more clearly this 
knotty subject which is now bothering the brains of all the thinking 
people in this country, than this lieutenant of the navy in the short 
passage above quoted, and Albert Gallatin and Isaac Bronson 
might gather some useful hints on banking and currency from one 
whose trade has formerly been to go " down to the sea in ships." 
The " big wigs " of the Bank of England must have been aston- 
ished at being schooled in such a quarter ; but the writer's maxim, 
like that of his country and his profession, is " nothing venture, 
nothing gain." 

October 16. Contrary to my forebodings, and the 
Congressional fg^j-g Qf niany houcst men, the famous sub-treasury bill, 
the device which was intended to place the foot of the 
government upon the necks of the people, was laid on the table, on 
Friday evening, after a long and animated debate, not to be taken 
up again during this memorable extra session. Some of the con- 
servatives, the balance-of-power men, held out against the force 
of party discipline. Congress will adjourn to-day, having done 
nothing but pass a bill to extend the payment of bonds for 
duties, for which the merchants who are short of cash will thank 

In the course of Friday evening's debate Cambreling said 
something saucy to Hoffman about his changing sides, and 
alluded to his having served in the navy, where he learned to 
"tack and veer." This attack brought a reply from Hoffman, 
in which the " Commercial Representative " was absolutely anni- 
hilated. It is said to have been one of the most scorching 
pieces of eloquence ever heard on that floor. Mr. Adams rose 
after Hoffman finished, and declared that he had intended to 
reply to Cambreling, but, tearing up his notes, said there was 
no use in attacking a dead man. Hoffman has immortalized 
himself during the present short session, and given earnest of 
a brilliant " hereafter." 

i837-] THE DIARY OF rillLIP IIOXE. 275 

October 26. Broadway in the neighbourhood of 
Red Brethren, the City Hotel has been crowded for the last two days 
by curious spectators, watching to obtain an occasional 
glimpse of a large party of Indians, who, after having made a 
treaty at Washington, by which their "broad lands " are diminished 
in quantity by the trifling amount of a million and a quarter of acres, 
are now making a tour of the principal cities, receiving presents, 
and being stared at for the benefit of theatres, fairs, and lectures. 
There are two tribes, amounting in all to seventy individuals ; the 
Sauks and Foxes, who constitute the most important part of the 
deputation, are at the City Hotel, and the Sioux at the National, 
opposite ; for these two tribes are not on a friendly footing, and 
their white keepers do not think it expedient to get up a real war- 
fight for the edification of the spectators. 

I went to see the Sauks and Foxes this morning, and finding 
Mr. Daniel Jackson there, who is a sort of agent for the tribes, was 
introduced to the principal chiefs. The whole party — warriors, 
squaws, and pappooses — were seated or lying on the ground, most 
of them employed in opening and dividing some pieces of colored 
cord, such as is used for hanging pictures, which had been pre- 
sented to them at the fair of the American Institute, and with 
which they appeared much pleased. Keokuk, the chief of the 
confederated tribes of Sauks and Foxes, and his favourite squaw 
were seated on a small carpet separate from the rest. He is a 
fine-looking, elderly man, of intelligent countenance and dignified 
deportment. I have heard General Scott speak of him ; he thinks 
him a great man. In the expedition against the tribes, a few years 
since, Keokuk was friendly to the whites and opposed to Black 
Hawk, who was then the principal chief. Black Hawk is with the 
party at present, but appears to have lost caste. He sits with his 
son in one corner of the square, enveloped in a bright scarlet 
blanket, silent, surly, and picturesque. The son is a majestic man, 
aged about thirty, one of the noblest figures I ever saw, — a perfect 
Ajax Telamon. 

2/6 THE DIARV OF nilLIP HONE. [^tat. 57. 

I shook hands with these Herculeses and Apollos of the woods. 
They are generally very stout and athletic, with immense lower 
limbs ; but their arms and hands are delicate and small. Keokuk's 
hand feels like the hand of a woman, while that of young Black 
Hawk is not so large as mine ; and yet in other respects I am 
much inferior in size and strength to either of them. This charac- 
teristic may be accounted for from the circumstance that they 
perform no manual labor, and the stoutness and great size of their 
legs and feet are owing to their constant exercise in the chase and 
other field exercises. 

At seven o'clock this evening a rap upon the table in 

reat ug j^ large room of Masonic Hall took the hats off the 

Meeting. ° 

heads of three or four thousand of as fine-looking men as 
ever constituted the " bone and muscle " of any community. They 
were the Whigs of New York ; and another rap, with a glorious 
responsive " Aye " from this assemblage, honoured me by placing 
me in the chair as the presiding officer. The report of the nomi- 
nating committee was read by Daniel Ullman, prefaced by a very 
good address. 

I put the meeting in a good-humour by addressing them in 
something like the following words : " Now, fellow- Whigs, I have 
given you your way in all things. I must have mine in one : I am 
going to put the final question, — a course which is not usually 
adopted, — in a form to please myself. Are you ready for the ques- 
tion?" — "Ready ! ready ! question ! question ! " was the cheerful 
reply. "Then, as many of you as are in favour of the ticket, the 
whole ticket, and nothing but the ticket, and are determined to 
exert yourselves to the utmost to elect it, will signify it by saying 
Aye." Such a simultaneous, thundering, whole-hearted Aye was 
never before heard. " Those of a contrary opinion will say No ; " 
not a voice responded, and the meeting adjourned in good-humour, 
in high hopes of success, pleased with their cause, their chairman, 
and themselves. 

1837.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP IIOXE. 277 

November 6. — The election commenced this mom- 
The Election, ing. It is the most interesting one we have ever had. 
Former contests at the polls have been struggles for party 
supremacy, and, sometimes, for the indulgence of personal predilec- 
tions ; but on this depends the continuance or the ultimate overthrow 
of a course of measures which have nearly ruined our noble city, 
and prostrated the energies of its enterprising citizens. It may not 
be of great importance in its immediate results, for we can hardly 
hope for such a change as would give the Whigs a majority in the 
Legislature. The mountain of misrule in the State is too mighty to 
be overthrown by a single political convulsion ; but the ultimate 
effect of a victory now would be certain, and its influence in other 
parts of our country, conclusive. The whole United States look to 
this election as the star to guide them on to victory, and Mr. Van 
Buren, and his cabinet, and his policy must rise or fall by its 
result. The Whigs enter the field with high hopes and a steady, 
fixed determination to do their duty ; of the respectable part of the 
Democratic party, some have come openly over to the Whigs, 
others stretch their necks over the fence and drop a few votes on 
our side, and none give their party a full and decided support. The 
loco-focos, the destructives of the city, have regained possession of 
Tammany Hall, and the battle is to be between them and the men 
of character, intelligence, industry, and sobriety. Even Preserved 
Fish has joined us openly, and Jacob B. Taylor, Daniel Jackson, 
George Sharpe, and many others of the same stamp attend the 
Whig meetings. The " Sun of Austerlitz " rose bright and 
glorious this morning, and I confidently hope will set, on the 
evening of the third day, upon a bloodless field of batde, won 
triumphantly by the friends of good order and the supporters of 
the Constitution. • 

NovEMRER 8. — The battle has been fought and won. The 
election closed this evening at sundown, and the Whigs have 
succeeded in their whole ticket. New York has broken her 
chains and stands erect, regenerated. The moral and political 

2/8 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 57. 

effect of this victory will be prodigious. The eyes of the whole 
United States were turned to us. The measures of the adminis- 
tration stand condemned before the nation, and Mr. Van Buren 
must alter his course or sink to rise no more. This contest has 
been conducted on the side of the Whigs from its commencement 
in a determined spirit, and Avith high hopes. Our men worked 
hard, but quietly, moderately ; there was no bullying, no boasting, 
and it is greatly to the credit of the city that, notwithstanding the 
unusual excitement in both parties, and the enormous number of 
votes polled, — 36,500, — there was no commotion, no riots, and 
no call for the interference of the police. 

November 16. — I received a warm letter of congratulation 
from Mr. Webster, in reply to one I wrote him the morning after 
our election, and a paper containing the result of the Massachu- 
setts elections, which commenced on Monday. The victory there 
is overwhelming. Every one of the thirteen senatorial districts will 
return Whigs. Governor Everett's majority will be ten times 
greater than last year. 

November 17. — The terrible abolition question is fated, I fear, 
to destroy the union of the States, and to endanger the peace and 
happiness of our western world. Both parties are getting more 
and more confirmed in their obstinacy, and more intolerant in 
their prejudices. A recent disgraceful affair has occurred in the 
town of Alton, State of Illinois, which is calculated to excite the 
most painful feelings in all those who respect the laws and desire 
the continuance of national peace and union. Alton is situated on 
the left bank of the Mississippi, and opposite the slave-holding State 
of Missouri. An abolition paper was established there, called the 
" Alton Observer," which, becoming obnoxious to the slave- 
holders, was assailed and the establishment destroyed, some 
time since, by an ungovernable mob; an attempt was recently 
made to reestablish the paper, which caused another most 
disgraceful outrage, in which two persons were killed and several 


November 22. — Such a day of continued excite- 
'^ ment I have never experienced : for nearly twelve 

Jubilee. '■ ■' 

hours every faculty of body and mind has been on the 
utmost stretch. 

The out-door celebration (except the firing of the cannon) was 
prevented by a villanous fog, which hung like a dark mantle over 
us at sunrise. Until noon there were occasional symptoms of 
better weather, but before sunset it turned into rain, and the fire- 
works were " no go." But the in-door operations were all carried 
out to the letter, and so brilliant and exciting a scene was never 
witnessed. At eleven o'clock I went to Masonic Hall to unite in 
the reception of the delegates from other States and cities, who 
presented themselves to the number of seven hundred and received 
their tickets for the dinner. At one o'clock the Mayor took the chair 
and addressed the delegates in an excellent speech ; they were 
then called upon by States, and a member selecte;! from each State 
addressed the meeting. It was perfectly astonishing that in this 
number of speakers, thus called together, and most of them entirely 
unprepared, there were no failures. All spoke well, — some of 
them with surpassing eloquence. I have never witnessed such a 
display of warm, glowing, impassioned oratory as some exhibited, 
nor so much pure, refined, convincing eloquence as fell from 
others. Colonel Winthrop's speech was one of the finest I ever 
heard, — it would have done credit to Webster or Clay ; but all were 
excellent, and Granger's closing speech fixed the attention of an 
assemblage, who had remained during five hours in their several 
places, and most of them standing, wedged together the whole 
time. At five o'clock we all adjourned to Niblo's to partake of 
the dinner. 

Seven hundred plates were set, and the floor and avenues of the 
saloon were crowded with persons who could not get seats. There 
were many speeches and volunteer toasts, but I left my seat soon 
after the regular toasts were done. Ten or a dozen of us, includ- 
ing some of the Baltimoreans, had a little supper at Niblo's ; but I 

280 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^Etat. 57. 

left them soon, and came home nearly exhausted by the labours of 
the day, and intoxicated, not by strong drink, but by a strong and 
unintermitted excitement. 

This celebration will have an extensive and most salutary influ- 
ence. Never before has there been such an assemblage of Whigs. 
A bond of union and good-fellowship has been formed which will 
extend far and wide, and the delegates will go home delighted 
with their reception, filled with confident hopes of a return of a 
national prosperity, and with a determination to restore the gov- 
ernment of the Constitution and the laws. 

The indications of public feeling during the day, 
Henry Clay, which I have watched carefully, have been in my 
opinion decidedly in favour of Mr. Clay as the Whig 
candidate for President. Whenever allusions were made to Mr. 
Webster and him they were received with cheers and applause ; 
but those for Clay were more animated than the others. The 
delegates seemed to say that either of those patriots was good 
enough for them, but that "Harry of the West" would be the 
most available candidate. The question should not be agitated 
now ; our duty is to get Van Buren out, and then — . 

November 23. — I dined with Mr. Gardiner G. Howland, where 
I met Messrs. Meredith, Kennedy, Morris, and Dr. Alexander of 
Baltimore, Mr. Granger, and other gentlemen. I have frolicked 
too much this week, and require quiet and temperance, which I 
fear I shall not get. 

November 25. — I had a pleasant dinner-party. It was in- 
tended for some of my Baltimore friends who attended the 
jubilee of Wednesday ; but Mr. Swift, the Mayor of Philadelphia, 
forestalled me and took them in transitu ; all but Meredith and 
Kennedy, who, like good fellows, stayed to dine with me. Our 
party consisted of Jonathan Meredith, John P. Kennedy, the 
Mayor, President Duer, Francis Granger, Mr. Graves, M.C., from 
Kentucky, James Watson Webb, Charles King, Abraham Ogden, 
and I. S. Hone. 


November 28. — A convention of delegates from Bos 


^^"'^ ton, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York convened 

yesterday at the Mayor's office, City Hall. The object 
of this convention is to deliberate on a resumption of specie pay- 
ment, at some time to be agreed upon. There is great difference 
of opinion on this momentous question. I think they can't do it. 
November 29. — The great dinner is over, and I have 
'^ '^ a prospect of a day or two's peace and quietness. The 

dinner was given at the Astor House ; about two hun- 
dred and twenty, including the guests, sat down at half-past seven 
o'clock, and stayed all night ! We had speeches upon speeches, 
some very good, but most of them too long. The principal speakers 
were John Bell of Tennessee, Graves of Kentucky, Mr. Southard and 
Governor Pennington of New Jersey, Kennedy of Baltimore, Sturges 
of Boston, Granger, etc. Ogden Hoffman presided, with eight vice- 
presidents, of which I was the first. The toasts, which were intended 
to call out the distinguished guests, were severally given by the 
president and the vice-presidents. Mr. Bell spoke an hour and a 
half; Mr. Southard made an excellent speech, a little too much 
about himself; but the great gun of the evening, that which con- 
stituted the chief attraction, and kept the company together to an 
hour unprecedented in the annals of New York jollifications, was 
Daniel Webster. He rose at two o'clock in the morning, intend- 
ing, in consequence of its being, as he said, to-jtiorrow, to be very 
brief; but his auditors insisted upon his going on ; they would not 
allow him to stop, and he, apparently "nothing loath," kept on in 
a strain of unwearied and unwearying eloquence until four o'clock. 
One hundred and fifty persons, most of them men of sober, steady 
habits, fathers of families, remained immovable in their seats, with 
no indications of fatigue or inattention until he finished at an hour 
when " night was almost at odds with morning." There is scarcely 
another individual in the United States who could thus have fixed 
their attention at such an unreasonable hour. I looked around 
frequently, and I verily believe not a person left the room while he 


was speaking. What a wonderful gift is this pubUc speaking, and 
what gourmands we Americans are wlien we get hold of a dish of 
popular oratory ! 

Mr. Webster was clear and distinct in his manly and patriotic 
surrender of personal claims upon the people, and a determination 
to abide in all things by the decision of a majority of the Whig 
party. This part of his speech did him great credit, and was re- 
ceived with much enthusiastic applause. When 'he closed, at four 
o'clock, I left the company reseating themselves, ready for more 
toasts and more speeches, and I doubt if they broke up before 
breakfast-time. I was glad to get away, fatigued and worn out, 
but too much excited to sleep. 

November 30. — Day of general thanksgiving and prayer, recom- 
mended by the State and city authorities. There are many causes 
of thanksgiving, some of which our present rulers would not be will- 
ing to acknowledge as such. 

December 5. — A Mr. Price, sub-editor (as I am informed) of a 
scurrilous paper published in this city, called the " Herald," has 
addressed me a letter as chairman of the committee of arrange- 
ments for the Bell dinner, to know whether Charles King was 
authorized to forbid him to take notes of the speeches at the din- 
ner, on which subject a correspondence has taken place between 
him and Mr. King. The gentleman is bien enrage. He says he 
bought his ticket like other people, and had a right like other 
people to take notes or anything else he pleased. King, who, 
I presume, thought he had no right to take anything but his dinner, 
would not allow him to proceed, and, being of the Hotspur breed, 
very probably showed him the door, and the man lost his ten dol- 
lars and his dinner in the bargain. For this he called King to 
account, and, his explanation not being altogether satisfactory, I was 
appealed to by the aggrieved party. In my reply I state that " the 
practice of reporting in the public prints the doings and the sayings 
of our convivial meetings without the consent, and frequently to the 
annoyance, of the parties who are thus unwillingly brought before 
the public, a practice so entirely repugnant to the feelings of our 


citizens, is happily confined as yet to so inconsiderable a portion of 
the press that it did not, I presume, occur to the committee to take 
any measures in advance to prevent it ; but that I was of the opinion 
that Mr. King was authorized, by the expressed sentiments of the 
gentlemen forming the committee, to oppose the introduction of 
reporters for that object." This brought a rejoinder, and then the 
matter ended between Mr. Price and me ; but the " Herald " will 
make two or three columns of the affair to dish up to his customers 
who like high-seasoned dishes. 

December 6. — Congress met on Monday; the 
A^s Ve * President's message was sent on Tuesday. This docu- 
ment does little credit to Mr. Van Buren, and I trust that 
it seals his political condemnation. All the abominable doctrines 
of his September message are reiterated. He recommends the sub- 
treasury system, with its hosts of government locusts to eat up the 
people's substance, or if that will not go, then something else ; 
but the merchants must be deprived of the use of any part of 
the money which their enterprise and intelligence have been the 
means of furnishing to the support of the government. No 
matter what becomes of it, so that they do not get it. Was ever 
a commercial people cursed with such rulers? Better would it be 
for poor New York if a volcano were to break out in the midst of 
her than that this suicidal policy should be adopted ! 

In relation to the late elections the President has his usual cant 
about the will of the people. He pretends that the late changes 
are no expression of their will. It was owing to bank influence, 
and the people will go round to him again, and then they will be 
right. Faugh ! With his usual sycophancy and want of indepen- 
dence, he refers to " his predecessor " eight times in the course of 
this message. 

December 20. — We had a pleasant dinner-party, consisting of 
Samuel S. Howland, George Dorr, James W. Otis, J. G. Pearson, 
Robert Ray, John C. Delprat, P. G. Stuyvesant, Charles A. 
Heckscher, Peter Schermerhorn, Samuel Welles of Paris, and 
William H. Aspinwall. 

284 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 


TANUARY I . — I verily believe there never was so pleasant a 
^ New Year's Day. The sun rose this morning through a deli- 
cious haze, which looked like impalpable gold-dust, and from which 
it emerged gloriously. During the day the air was soft and balmy, 
and the temperature warm as June. Visiting commenced earlier 
than usual, and was kept up with great spirit until near night. 
Broadway was thronged with male pedestrians, and at the open 
door of every fashionable house a grinning domestic was seen 
ushering in the visitors to the well-furnished saloon in which fair 
inmates were ready to receive with smiles their homage and good 
wishes. I began my cruise at noon, in the neighbourhood of the 
Bowling Green, working my way up, and intending to visit my up- 
town friends last. But when I arrived at St. Thomas's Church, it 
was five o'clock, and I was compelled to make my visit to Dr. 
Hawks (the most excellent pastor of that church) my last for the 
day ; but I made some visits in the evening, and came home 
fatigued with my pleasant exercise. 

Last evening we were all assembled in the dining-room, — myself, 
my wife, my six children, and son-in-law, — a goodly family party, 
gay, cheerful, and happy, until eighteen hundred and thirty-seven, 
with hobbling gait, took his ugly face away, and, turning his ill- 
omened back upon us, made way for his smiling, youthful successor. 
God grant he may not " follow in the footsteps of his illustrious 
predecessor," except as regards the weather, in which particular we 
certainly have no reason to complain of the defunct ! for never, 
surely, was a year of such fine weather known among men. We 
have not had equal to a month of unpleasant weather during the 
year, — a lovely spring, a cool summer, and the autumn and winter, 
thus far, delicious as the climate of the plains of Normandy. But 


in other matters it has been a disastrous year. The acts of govern- 
ment have thrown the affairs of the country into utter confusion. 
The enterprise of the citizens, which, it must be confessed, led 
them sometimes too far, was suddenly checked and paralyzed by a 
sudden breaking up of all the elements which gave life to the social 
compact, and excited the honest industry and enlightened enter- 
prise of our people. During this year we have lived upon each 
other ; no wholesome business has been carried on ; the sources to 
which we have looked for the payment of honest debts have gen- 
erally failed ; real estate, which in good times is the best and surest 
foundation of credit, has lost its value, and those who have money 
will neither invest in it nor lend on it. Confidence is shaken to its 
very centre, and the springs of national and commercial prosperity 
are dried up. Amidst all this scene of national and individual 
calamity, one redeeming ray of sunshine has burst forth, — the 
people have risen in their might and reproved the ruinous schemes 
of their rulers ; the popular elections have gone generally against 
the administration, and nowhere has the voice of reproof been 
more loudly uttered than in our own State. If we hold on in the 
good cause the same voice will call abler and better men to the 
councils of the nation, and better days may dawn, and the Repub- 
lic yet be safe. 

During the past year I have removed to my new house, comer 
of Broadway and Great Jones street, which proves a most delight- 
ful and comfortable residence. I would not, if I could, have it 
altered in a single particular. God grant that in my prayers for 
better times I may be sufficiently thankful for the blessings which I 
yet enjoy ! 

January 5. — The ship "Pennsylvania" sailed from Sandy 
Hook at noon, on the 8th of November, and arrived in the Mersey 
on the evening of the 23d. I think this is the shortest passage as 
yet ; but it is impossible to say what may happen in this " go- 
ahead " age, A letter which I received by the " George Wash- 
ington," dated in London 15 th of November, from \\'illiam H. 

286 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.Etat. 58. 

Stephenson (he who was here on a visit last summer, and to whom 
we all took a liking), states that the new steamer intended for this 
port was to sail in about a fortnight. If she succeeds, this fifteen- 
day passage of the " Pennsylvania " may hereafter be considered 
quite a dilatory proceeding. 

January 6. — The weather continues beautiful beyond all former 
experience, — warm as June. If we do not have a change soon, we 
shall want ice to cool our champagne next summer. The North 
river is open to Hudson. If the weather continues, the navigation 
will be unobstructed to Albany, — an event which I think has never 
occurred in the month of January during my lifetime. 

January 22. — I received to-day from Mr. Webster 
g"jj" ■'^^^"'^ a copy of the bill of abominations, now before the 
Senate, and have read it attentively. It is worse, even, 
than I supposed, from having given it a cursory perusal as it was 
published. It should be called General Jackson's rod bequeathed 
to his successor, wherewith to scourge the refractory merchants, 
and Mr. Van Buren's vial of wrath, to be poured upon his devoted 
city of New York more especially, as punishment for political 
backslidings. Its leading feature seems to be the total preclusion 
of the merchants, whose enterprise supports the government, from 
any participation in the use of money collected through their 
means on any security whatever. It directs it to be locked up in 
gold and silver in the Custom-House and post-offices in all parts of 
the country, and creates a host of political locusts worse than those 
who of old overran the land of Egypt, devoted soul, body, and 
conscience to their masters, to have the custody of the people's 
money, and to beg, borrow, or steal it, no matter how, so as the 
benefit to accrue from it shall be confined to the faithful. I do 
venture to assert that there never has been an instance, in the his- 
tory of civilized man, of so much power being vested in the hands 
of an executive magistrate, call him as you may, — king, emperor, 
dictator, autocrat, or Tartarian khan, — by a legislative enactment, 
as this bill gives to the Republican President of a people who do 


actually dream sometimes that they are free. The amiable gentle- 
men above enumerated have occasionally indulged in strange 
freaks at the 'expense of their loyal subjects ; they squeeze them 
tolerably hard, and if they prove refractory cut off their heads ; 
but they have not the assurance to pretend that they have law for 
what they do. The suffering people have the consolation to know 
that they had no hand in forging their chains, but here representa- 
tives of the people (as they falsely style themselves) are about to 
twist the lash, to sharpen the sword, and hand them to their rulers, 
praying them to use them for the good of their constituents ; and 
use them they will, if this ill-omened bill passes the Senate. A 
majority of that body are the merest tools of party, and will vote 
for it ; but there is some reason to hope that honest men enough 
will be found in the House of Representatives to stay the cause. 

This gold and silver currency is the prettiest sceptre with which 
to rule a people who do not give themselves the trouble to think 
much about public affairs, that a tyrant could desire. Mr. Van 
Buren is not exactly a tyrant yet ; but wait, my masters, until this 
bill passes. The late Dey of Algiers thought so, and he was the 
government. The French found something in his cellars besides 
potatoes and cabbages ; the cellars provided in this bill are more 
numerous than those which belonged to his turbancd liighness, but 
the treasures they contain will be equally under the control of the 
government, and, although not intended to be applied to the pur- 
chase of chibouques and slippers for the personal use of our 
revered chief, or laid out in gewgaws for the ladies of the harem, 
they will be the means of corrupting the minds of the people, 
blinding their eyes to the faults of their rulers, and transforming a 
nation of freemen into a herd of time-serving and man-worship- 
ping sycophants unworthy the name of Americans. 

January 27. — I was favoured by an invitation to 

Kent Club. meet the Kent Club this evening at the house of ^Ir. 

William Kent. There were about twenty gentlemen, 

among whom were Judges Jones, Edwards, and Tallmadge, Chan- 

288 THE DIARY OF TIIILIP HONE. [^tat. 58. 

cellor Kent, President Duer, several eminent lawyers, and a few 
laymen, consisting of Charles King, Webb, and myself. There was 
also Mr. Mackintosh, son of the celebrated Sir James Mackintosh, 
and the author of his well-written biography, a gentleman who 
came to this country on a visit during the last autumn. We had 
a handsome supper, with oceans of champagne. I was right in 
calling it " high jinks," for a more jovial, noisy, roystering set I 
never met with. They seemed to contemn all law but that of 
passing the bottle, and the counsel on both sides summed up 
together without regarding the admonitions of the court. 

February 14. — When Mr. Webster was in New York he dined 
on the 14th of December at the Astor House with a party of 
good Whigs. On this occasion he invited the party to dine with 
him in Washington on Washington's birthday, since which, on 
renewing the invitation to each of us, he has altered the day to 
the 2 1 St inst., in consequence of a ball which is to be given on the 
2 2d in honour of the anniversary, and here I am this evening in 
Philadelphia, on my way to fulfil the engagement. 

I left New York at half-past six this morning. It was very 
cold, but the admirable railroad, go-ahead mode of travelling 
brought us to Philadelphia by one o'clock, and I got into good 
quarters at Head's. Mrs. Davis came on to surprise her hus- 
band, who has been here two or three days. I called upon 
Mr. Biddle at the bank, and had a nice little talk about 
matters and things. 

I was shown this afternoon, at the shop of IMessrs. 
Plate Fletcher & Co., in Chestnut street, the most superb 

service of plate I ever saw, to be presented by the 
directors of the old Bank of the United States to Mr. Nicholas 
Biddle. It is to cost $15,000. The inscription recites all his 
valuable services to the institution and to the country at large, and 
among other things his having " created the best currency in the 
worlds He deserves all they can do for him, but the world is 
a big place. Fletcher & Co. are the artists who made the Clinton 

1838.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP IIOXE. 289 

vases. Nobody in this "world" of ours hereabouts can compete 
with them in this kind of work. 

The portico of this glorious edifice, a sight of which 

e an ing- ,^|^^,^yg rcpavs me for coming to Philadelphia, appeared 
more beautiful to me this evening than usual, from the 
effect of the gas-light ; each of the massive fluted columns had a jet 
of light from the inner side so placed as not to be seen from the 
street, but casting a strong light upon the front of the building, 
the softness of which, with its flickering from the wind, produced an 
effect strikingly beautiful. How strange it is that in all the inven- 
tions of modern times architecture alone seems to admit of no 
improvement ! — every departure from the classical models of 
antiquity in this science is a departure from grace and beauty. 

Baltimore, Feb. 15. — I was within half a minute of losing my 
chance this morning in the railroad cars. The omnibuses leave 
Market street at eight, and had started just as I got there ; but I 
saved my distance. They go to Grey's Ferry on the Schuylkill, 
from where the cars start on the new Philadelphia and Baltimore 
Railroad, which has been in operation about a week, and go by 
Wilmington and Elkton, — nearly the old mail-stage route. We got 
here at three o'clock, an hour later than usual, in consequence of 
the ice and snow on the tracks. But what a contrast is this to the 
old winter travelling between the two cities, over a detestable road 
and a dangerous ferry, and two days and a night consumed on the 
journey. The Susquehanna at Havre-de-Grace is crossed in a 
steamboat superior to anything yet produced in America. The 
passengers descend by a stairway into this floating palace, where 
everything comfortable is provided. The cars are then brought on 
a platform overhead level with the road. The immense machine 
then starts, breaking the ice, whatever may be its thickness ; the 
passengers then ascend on this side by another substantial stair- 
case, resume their seats in the cars, and find themselves again in 
rapid motion on terra firma, having, as it were by enchantment, 
crossed this ferry, which was formerly one of the greatest bugbears 

290 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

to travelling in the United States in the winter season. It snowed 
when we started this morning, and has been the most unpleasant 
day I have experienced during the present winter. But the cars, 
which held about seventy persons each, are provided with stoves, 
which made them (as Polly Stymets said) a little too comfortable. 
The fare on this capital road is only four dollars. 

Washington, Feb. 19. — Called this morning, by appointment, 
upon Mr. Webster, who accompanied me to the Senate at eleven 
o'clock, and obtained for me a place on the floor, — an exceedingly 
difficult thing under the present orders. The galleries were all 
filled two hours before the time of the Senate's meeting, I was 
indebted for my good place to some hocus-pocus between IVIr. 
Webster and the sergeant-at-arms. 

Mr. Clay rose to the order of the day (Mr. Wright's 
^ s ^.ji^ commonly called the sub-treasury bill) at one 
o'clock, and spoke until half-past five. It was a great 
speech, as all his speeches are ; but I thought it too long. It would 
have borne a curtailment of an hour advantageously. Mr. Clay's 
physical force was not so great as usual, and I thought he laboured 
under the effects of indisposition ; but the close of his argument 
was the best part. He belaboured the last and present adminis- 
trations, quoting from Mr. Van Buren's reply to the nomination of 
the Baltimore Convention, in which he speaks of himself as " the 
honoured instrument to carry out the measures of his illustrious 
predecessor." Mr. Clay said that the meaning of the word 
instrtanent given by Webster's Dictionary is " /<?(?/," and continued 
to speak accordingly of the honoicred tool of General Jackson. 

In the course of the speech Mr. Clay bore somewhat hard upon 
Mr. Calhoun for his recent apostasy, and replied to his arguments 
in favour of the bill, to which the latter replied in a few exceed- 
ingly harsh and ill-natured remarks. He charged Mr. Clay with 
having " misrepresented all his arguments," and threatened " in 
his own good time to settle accounts with him," to which Mr. Clay 
rejoined that he was " ready to settle with the gentleman from 


South Carolina in any way, and at any time," he chose. Mr. 
Calhoun, like all men whose position is doubtful in their own 
minds, is, no doubt, very sensitive. I thought there was a degree 
of acrimony and ill -nature in his reply much greater than the 
occasion justified. When I shook hands with this gentleman this 
morning I felt grieved that so brilliant a mind and so gallant a 
spirit had been cast away by the influence of prejudice and paltry 
interested motives. 

February 20. — I called upon the President this morning, who 
received me with his usual urbanity. He inquired about my 
family and other persons of his acquaintance, talked about the 
weather, his habits and mode of living, but asked no questions 
about the state of things in New York, and, of course, did not 
touch upon politics. 

February 21. — The long-expected day arrived at 
Dinner^ * ^^ last. Mr. Wcbster's great dinner to the New Yorkers 
took place to-day at five o'clock. We went in a body 
to his house, and were met by an equal number of the most 
distinguished Whigs in the United States, and some of the greatest 
and best men which our country can boast of. The dinner con- 
sisted, as near as I can recollect, of the following party, — I shall 
endeavour to put them all down here, for this was an affair long to 
be remembered : The New York party, fourteen in number ; Mr. 
Webster, Governor Davis, Governor Lincoln, of Massachusetts ; 
jSIr. Robbins, Mr. Tillinghast, of Rhode Island ; Messrs. Tallmadge, 
Sibley, Hoffman, Curtis, of New York ; Meredith, Wise, of Virginia ; 
Bell and Graves, of Tennessee ; Crittenden, of Kentucky ; Bayard, 
of Delaware ; Colt and Dr. Alexander, of Baltimore. 

Toasts were given and speeches made by almost everybody. Mr. 
Wise was eloquent and entertaining ; Mr. Webster very fine. Old Mr. 
Robbins delivered a beautiful eulogium upon Washington, in a soft 
and tremulous voice, and in language classical and pure. It was a 
glorious affair. \Vhen I arose at the table (at which I had the 
seat of distinction) I was awe-stricken, and for a moment em- 

292 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

barrassed, but recovered instantly. I felt as if in an assembly of 
the gods. These were men who can and will save the country. I 
told them so, and they responded, Amen ! 

The next thing in order was the dinner which the New York 
party gave to the Whig delegation from our State. One senator 
(Mr. Tallmadge, a conservative, with us now heart and soul) and 
ten of the lower House, besides whom we had Messrs. Clay, Webster, 
Crittenden, Wise, Graves, Waddy Thompson, etc., — in number about 
forty. I presided, and they all say it was the greatest thing I ever 
did. But how could it be otherwise ? I had Clay on my right and 
Webster on my left. I felt inspired myself, and infused inspiration 
into all around me. Alluding to my relative position, I made them 
all pledge themselves to make one of us three President of the 
United States. How we apples swim ! At ten o'clock we broke 
up, and most of the party went to the ball in honour of Washing- 
ton's birthday, which was a brilliant affair. The President was 
there, and the Vice-President, heads of departments, foreign minis- 
ters, etc. 

]\Ir. Pontois, the French Minister, has been exceedingly civil to 
me. He wants to give me a dinner, and appears greatly dis- 
appointed that I cannot accept it. Colonel and Mrs. Howard 
have pressed me very hard, as have everybody here ; but we go to 
Baltimore on Saturday, where further honours await us. I am 
almost tempted to return with Charles King and some others of the 
conspirators, but cannot ; and perhaps it is better to break off in 
the midst of my enjoyment. I received this evening a letter from 
the Baltimore committee, informing me that an extra train of cars 
has been provided, to start from here on Saturday at noon. This 
is a comfortable and kind arrangement, as we should otherwise 
have been compelled to start at six in the morning, and very con- 
venient for men who sit every niglat " carousing until the second 

Baltimore, February 24. — A dreadful affair had happened at 
Washington to-day, which only came to my knowledge a few 

1838.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 293 

minutes before I left Washington this morning. Mr. Webb, the 
editor of the " Courier and Enquirer," was attacked with great 
violence in the House of Representatives by Mr. Cilley, of Maine, 
who took part in the debate on the subject of the charge made by 
iSIrs. Davis (author of the "Spy in Washington") against Mr. 
Ruggles, of the Senate, of corrupt and dishonest conduct in relation 
to a patent. Mr. Cilley, in debate, asserted that Davis was em- 
ployed by Webb, a scoundrel editor, who had been bribed by the 
president of the Bank of the United States, etc. Webb was of our 
party to Washington, and soon after his arrival took measures, it 
appears, to obtain satisfaction. He applied to Mr. Curtis and Mr. 
Draper to bear his challenge, both of whom very properly refused. 
He then called upon Mr. Graves, of Kentucky, a very fine fellow, 
who has been with us almost constantly, and he unfortunately con- 
sented. He called upon Mr. Cilley, who refused to accept the 
challenge, on the ground that Webb was not a gentleman, and, 
moreover, that he was not bound to account for words spoken in 
debate ; upon which ]\Ir. Graves, according to the ridiculous code 
of fionour which governs those gentlemen, insisted upon his fighting 
him, and after some negotiation it was agreed that they should 
fight this day. The first suspicion I had of what was going on 
arose from my meeting Webb in the passage at Gadsby's, about 
eleven o'clock, when I told him I was going to take leave of Mr. 
Clay, who lives in the same house with Mr. Graves ; on which he 
said that Mr. Clay, not knowing of the extra train of cars at noon, 
had gone to Baltimore early in the morning. I went, however, to 
their lodgings, inquired for Mr. Graves, and was told by a servant 
that he had gone to Baltimore ; but on inquiry found that Mr. Clay 
was at home, and went to his room, where I saw and took leave of 
him. This circumstance, together with the mysterious appearance 
of things at our lodgings, caused me to make inquiry, and I found 
that Graves and Cilley had gone out to fight with rifles at eighty 
yards' distance, the former with Mr. Wise and the latter with Gen- 
eral Jones, of Wisconsin, as seconds ; both adepts in this damnable 

294 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

practice, wlio would carry things to the utmost extremity, and who 
are said to have gone armed for the purpose of shooting any 
person who might come upon the ground to prevent this most 
unnatural combat. 

The friends of Graves, who is a gallant and amiable gentleman, 
who has his wife here and his children at home, are doing every- 
thing to prevent the meeting and bring about a reconciliation ; and 
Webb is much distressed at being the cause of his engaging in this 
quarrel, which he had nothing to do with, and much reason, I 
think, he has. This unhappy affair has caused a gloom among our 
friends, and prevented the members of Congress from coming on 
to the public dinner prepared for us in Baltimore. We came, 
however (all but Webb), in the extra car, soon after twelve 
o'clock, and arrived here at three. The party consisted of King, 
Blatchford, Giraud, Ward, Blunt, Hoxie, Patterson, Draper, 
Ketcham, and myself. The car on our arrival was surrounded 
by the populace, who expected to see Webster and Clay, and were 
greatly disappointed when they found none but us unimportant 
New Yorkers, although we were the honoured guests and they, 
with the other members, the adjuncts of the party. On our arrival 
we were waited upon by the committee, who escorted us to the 
Eutaw House to the great dinner. 

It was gotten up in a most splendid style, and we were received 
by two hundred of the most respectable citizens of Baltimore, with 
honour and distinction never to be forgotten. Dr. Alexander pre- 
sided, with a large number of vice-presidents. I, as chairman of 
the New York party, was seated on the right of the president, and 
Colonel Swift, Mayor of Philadelphia, on his left. It was, of 
course, my duty to reply to the third toast, which was a compli- 
ment to New York. I was alarmed beforehand for fear I should 
not do well, for I had no time for preparation, and my mind was 
engrossed with the duel at Washington ; but the occasion seemed to 
inspire me. I spoke three-quarters of an hour, and all my friends 
agree that it was an excellent speech. I feel myself that it was 


the best effort I ever made. Speeches were made in the course 
of the evening by King, Gerard, and Patterson, of our party ; by 
Colonel Swift, Colonel Finlay, Reverdy Johnson, John P. Ken- 
nedy, Juilge Hanson, Mr. Poe, Mr. Barney, Mr. Ewing, member 
of Congress from Indiana. We had a most beautiful speech by a 
young lawyer named Wallace, who, if he redeem the promise 
given on this occasion, will be a distinguished man. We broke 
up at twelve o'clock precisely, the arrival of the Sabbath pre- 
venting us from sitting longer ; and thus ended the most agreeable 
public dinner I ever witnessed, and the highest compliment I ever 

February 25. — I heard early this morning of the fatal termina- 
tion of this savage rencontre. Mr. Cilley was killed on the third 
fire. It was reported that Webb and Mr. Duncan, of Ohio, were 
to fight to-day ; but it is contradicted by a letter which I received 
this evening from Charles King, of wliich the following is an 
extract : " The fatal issue of the duel of yesterday has caused a 
deep sensation. There will not be, however, in my opinion, any 
more fighting. Webb is truly and deeply distressed. He will 
remain here till Tuesday, rather so as not to appear to avoid any 
consequences, than because there are any consequences to be appre - 
hended. Graves is, of course, sobered and saddened, though with 
the consciousness that he had done all that he could have done to 
avoid fighting. They fought about five o'clock, on tlie Annapolis 
road, and fired three times ; the third shot from (]ra\-es passed 
into the cavity of Mr. Cilley's stomach. He placed his hand on 
the wound, made a convulsive movement to his second, fell, and 
died without uttering a word. It is singular that Cilley, who, in 
practising the day before, had shot eleven balls in succession into 
a space not bigger than your hand, did not hit Graves at all. So 
confident were Mr. Cilley's political friends that Graves would be 
killed, that in the House, during the day, there was, it is said, man- 
ifest exultation at the idea. Some washenvoman or servant told 
Mrs. Crittenden, in the hearing of Mrs. Graves, that Mr. Graves had 

296 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

gone out to fight, and she had to pass five mortal hours in all the 
agony of suspense. Mr. Clay, whom I saw in his bed this morn- 
ing, told me he had had an interview with her, so fearful that it 
had absolutely kept him awake all night, and made him so sick 
and nervous this morning, from the mere recollection of it, that 
he cannot get up. The event of Mr. Cilley's death will be an- 
nounced to-morrow. The funeral will then take place, and of 
course both Houses will adjourn. It is not impossible that after 
the death is announced some discussion may arise upon the man- 
ner of the death, and some attempt be made to censure the prac- 
tice generally, and perhaps in this particular case even." 

March 6. — A committee of the House of Repre- 
,"^ '." sentatives has been appointed to investigate the cir- 

Washington. ^ ^ ° 

cumstances attending the late duel between Messrs. 
Graves and Cilley, with power to send for persons and papers. In 
the Senate, Mr. Prentiss, of Vermont, has introduced a bill to prevent 
duelling in the District of Columbia, making it death for the sur- 
vivor, and imposing ten years' imprisonment upon all persons 
concerned in sending a challenge. 

March 10. — The papers are filled with this painful subject. 
Some of the vile supporters of the administration attempt to give 
it a political bearing. These men, who have always supported Jack- 
son and made him the standard of their religion, morals, and 
politics, are now loud in their condemnation of the practice of 
duelling, although the wooden god of their idolatry was known as 
one of the most notorious duellists in the United States, and even 
had a rencontre of the most savage and sanguinary character with 
another of their oracles, Mr. Benton, of the Senate. The Supreme 
Court of the United States, consistently with the dignity of its 
high station, put the seal of condemnation upon the practice of 
duelling, by refusing to attend officially the funeral of Mr. Cilley, 
and declaring the determination of the court not to unite here- 
after in the funeral obsequies of any person who shall have fallen 
in a duel 


March 15. — The speeches on this all- engrossing 


Sub-Treasury ^^^.^^^ .^^ ^^^ g^^^^^ ^^.jj ^^ ^^ ^^^ Calhoun haS 

replied to Mr. Clay, and Mr. Clay has come in with 
a rejoinder. Mr. Bayard has spoken with his usual grace and 
urbanity against the bill, and Benton, \\'ith his "front de bxnf,''' has 
roared in its favour ; and that admirable old man, Asher Robbins, of 
Rhode Island, who charmed us at Mr. Webster's dinner with his 
eulogy on Washington, has added his testimony against the bill to 
that of his illustrious coadjutors, in a short speech, pure, eloquent, 
and classical as usual. The giant of Massachusetts, the defender 
of the Constitution, came to the rescue on Monday last, on which 
day he spoke five hours, and finished on Tuesday in a continuation 
of four hours. It is said on all hands to ha\-e been the greatest 
speech he ever made, greater even than his reply to General 
Hayne, on Foote's resolutions. 

The Hon. Paine Wingate, of Stratham, New Hamp- 
cT\-^ \tx& ^hire, died last week, at the age of ninety-nine years. 
He wasa graduate of Harvard College, and for several 
years (since the death of Dr. Holyoke) the oldest graduate of that 
institution, a judge of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire from 
1798 until 1809. He was emphatically a gentleman of the old 
school ; the confidant and adviser of Washington while President. 
His gait was erect and his deportment graceful. He wore a cocked 
hat, breeches and top-boots, and cambric ruffles at his breast and 
wrists. His lady survives him at the age of ninety-five. She is 
the sister of the late Thomas Pickering. 

March 16. — ^Died last evening, John Treat Irving, 
,'^f'\" . in the sixtieth year of his age, — one of my oldest 

Judge Irving. ■' ^ ' ^ 

acquaintances ; we were playmates forty-five years ago ; 
afterward associated in the literary institutions, to which I now look 
back as the sources from which in my youthful days I derived great 
enjoyment, and prospective advantages during my future life. We 
have ever since been good friends, and the most cordial feelings 
have subsisted between us. Of different professions, and disagree- 

298 THE DIARY OF PIIILIP HONE. [^tat. 58. 

ing in politics at our start in life, the intimacy which commenced so 
hapjnly did not continue so close as in our early years, but our 
personal friendship and mutual regard was never impaired ; and I 
now mourn for his loss, as almost the last of the associates of my 
early years. 

March 24. — The Committee of Ways and Means of the House 
of Assembly have made a report on the finances and internal im- 
provements of the State, said to be the production of their chairman, 
Mr. Samuel B. Ruggles, member from this city, — one of the ablest 
financial and statistical State papers which has ever been produced 
in this country. It presents the most glowing picture of the present 
resources and future prospects of the State, the result, not of san- 
guine and exaggerating fancy, but of plain facts and accurate 
calculations. It shows the most perfect ability to carry into effect 
all the splendid plans of internal improvement which have been 
projected or advised by the liberal-minded politicians of the State, 
and refutes most conclusively the arguments of Silas Wright, when 
he was comptroller, and his political hangers-on, that the works 
then in progress could not be completed without recourse to direct 
taxation. On the contrary, all the facts and arguments of the 
masterly report tend to support the opinion expressed in the con- 
cluding resolution : " That it is not necessary or expedient to levy a 
direct tax." This report appears to be the result of deep study and 
elaborate investigation. It is extremely well written, remarkable 
for close reasoning, and a style, clear, simple, and occasionally 
eloquent. It has no hard words, no popular clap-traps, no meta- 
physical humbug, but is better to read and easier to understand, 
by all sorts of people who can read or understand anything, than 
any paper on the same or a similar subject, extending to the length 
of eight close columns of a newspaper, that I have ever read. 

When Mr. Wright, then comptroller, in order to convince the 
people of the State that they were going too far in the works of 
internal improvement, and would have to resort to taxation, told 
them that the revenue of the canals at that time, 181 7, which 


amounted to $150,000, was the true basis of a prospective calcula- 
tion for the ensuing ten years, and when Mr. Ruggles now shows 
them that this revenue amounted during those ten years to more 
than ten millions, they will begin to doubt, one would think, the 
infallibility of their wooden oracle. And when they remember how 
obstinately the wise plans and enlightened predictions of DeWitt 
Clinton, Gouverneur Morris, and Jonas Piatt were opposed, ridi- 
culed, and thwarted by this same Mr. Wright and the men who now 
swear by him, until they could no longer hope to deceive the people, 
but were compelled to come into those great plans which contributed 
so largely to the glory and prosperity of the State, and then un- 
gratefully sought to deprive those men of the merit of originating 
the plans, — when all these things, I say, are seen and reflected 
upon, it would seem impossible that the people should not turn 
from their false prophets, no longer rely upon those who have so 
often deceived them, nor fail to discover that Samuel B. Ruggles is 
more worthy of credit than Silas Wright. 

March 26. — This hard-fought and long-debated 
Sub-Trcasury ^.jj ^^^^^^^^ ^j^^ g^^^^^ j,^^^ ^^ Saturday night. Every 

senator was present ; but before the finishing stroke 
was put upon it, it was divested of its most exceptionable features. 
It was no longer the monster which Silas Wright introduced, inso- 
much that Mr. Calhoun, who has so deeply compromised his fair 
fame in its support, was constrained to vote against it on the final 
vote. It was not bad enough for him. Its effects would not be 
so sudden nor so certain as he wished, to break down the North 
and East. It can be considered in no other light than a triumph 
for the talents and patriotism of the glorious band of Whig senators. 
The first cut of the pruning-knife slew the 23d section, which 
made the dues of all kinds to the government payable exclusively 
in specie. Mr. Webster moved to fill up the vacancy by inserting 
a section providing " that no distinction shall hereafter be made 
between the different branches of the revenue, as to the funds or 
the medium of payment in which the debts or dues accruing to the 

300 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [^tat. 58. 

government shall be paid or discharged." This amendment, which 
was carried, 37 to 14, repeals the famous specie circular, the favour- 
ite measure of Benton and the other Loco-focos, and is a solid 
triumph of the Webster policy. 

March 27. — The administration men, who are en- 
Dueiiing. dcavouring to make a political use of the late unfortu- 
nate duel at Washington, are reminded by the Portland 
" Advertiser " of the opinions of their Grand Lama, General 
Jackson, on this subject, by the publication of the following horrid 
anecdote relating to the bloody murder of Dickenson by Jackson, in 
1806. The account given by Dr. May, the surgeon of Jackson, in 
letters dated Nashville, Sept. 16 and 17, 181 7, states: "They were 
to fire as soon as the word was given. When the word was given 
Dickenson fired instantly ; but Jackson, after Dickenson had fired, 
deliberately buttoned up his coat, took deliberate aim, and fired. 
Dickenson fell on his face, uttered a groan, and expired. In a 
letter to a friend soon after, Jackson said : ' I left the damned 
rascal weltering in his blood.' " This is one of the good deeds for 
which Andrew Jackson has been rewarded by the people with the 
highest honours in their gift. 

ALBAm^ April 5. — The weather being fine, and a nice little 
day-boat called the " Vanderbilt " starting to-day, I came here to 
indulge my desire to see our Whig House of Assembly, and my 
friend, the admirable Speaker. If the Whigs are not proud of 
both the one and the other, they have not so much pride in their 
work as they had discrimination in the selection of the materials. 
When I arrived in Albany the House was in session ; there never 
was so hard-working a set of men in any public body ; they meet at 
nine o'clock in the morning, and continue in session until late 
in the evening, with an interval of an hour to bolt their dinners 
a rAmericaine. Never did men earn harder their stinted pay of 
three dollars a day, — about two shillings an hour for working- 
time ; a price at which I used to find it difficult to hire labourers 
to hoist goods for me at the old corner. 

1838.] THE DIARY OF miLIP HONE. 301 

The House was in Committee of the Whole when I went in, and 
I had the pleasure of shaking hands with the Speaker, and my 
numerous other political friends, who collectively make this House 
a credit to the State. I certainly have never seen so good-looking 
a legislative body ; it comprises a large proportion of talents and 
character, and is marked for decorum, propriety, patriotism, and 
zeal in the public ser\dce. 

April 6. — The House of Assembly has passed a general banking 
law, which, it is thought, will afford relief to the city of New York. 
It is expected to pass the Senate. Other measures also will be 
adopted for the relief of the banks. The time for the resumption 
of specie payments is near at hand, and great alarm exists in New 
York from the fact, now ascertained, that the same measure will not 
be adopted in the other cities. 

Luther Bradish is the very model of a Speaker ; never was a 
chair so filled. With a perfect knowledge of the detail of legisla- 
tive business, there is a dignity of deportment, a suavity of manner, 
promptitude of action, and correctness of decision which has se- 
cured for him the affection of his political friends, and the respect 
of his opponents, in a greater degree than any of his predecessors 
have ever possessed. It is, indeed, "well worth while," as Ruggles 
said in a letter which I lately received from him, "to take a trip to 
Albany only to see our ow7i Jove seated on his high Olympus." 

Mr. Ruggles has gained great renown by his admirable report 
on " the finances and internal improvement of the State." It has 
worked wonders in the minds of the members, and all parties are 
now striving to be foremost in carrying out the principles of that 
report. The city of New York has reason to be well satisfied with 
its delegation, — the best we have had for many years, — and they 
possess an influence in the Legislature, the want of wliich has been 
hitherto severely felt. Silliman, from Kings, and John A. King, 
from Queens, are worthy coadjutors of their brother Whigs from 
New York. These gentlemen have taken a high stand and are 
much respected. 

302 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

April 21. — Gold has flowed into our city, during the present 
week, in streams more copious than has ever before been known. 
The influx of the tide is greater than was its reflux. The fall in 
the exchange with England, and the astonishing accumulation of 
specie in England, have caused shipments to the enormous amount 
of two millions of pounds sterhng. The Bank of England sends 
out a million of sovereigns, the Rothschilds 250,000, and the rest 
by other banking-houses, while at the same time large amounts are 
arriving daily from South America and the West Indies. A great 
proportion of the shipments from England come to Prime, Ward, 
& King. It was to effect this negotiation that James G. King went 
to England, and it is presumed that he has pledged American 
stocks for the amount he has brought away. This change in the 
money affairs of the country will facilitate the resumption of specie 
payments by the banks of our State, which must take place in the 
middle of May, or their charters will be forfeited, the Legislature 
having adjourned without extending the time of suspension beyond 
that period. It is also hoped that this golden stream will force 
open the doors of the banks in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other 
places, which have refused to come into the measure, and will 
produce the desirable effect of a simultaneous resumption at the 
time our banks have fixed. Without this the domestic exchanges 
will continue to be ruinous for the New York merchants ; but, with 
a unity of action on this highly interesting subject, there is a 
reasonable prospect of better times. All we want is, that honest 
men should be enabled to realize the means of paying their debts, 
at least as far as those means are adequate to the purpose. 

Great Britain hastened the awful crisis in this country by with- 
drawing suddenly the support of the bank from the American 
houses, and now that she finds herself suffering for the want of our 
custom, our merchants being determined to buy no more goods 
until they have paid their debts, she pours back upon us of the 
superfluity of her metallic treasures, by which she hopes (and with 
good reason) to set again in motion the wheels of commerce, and, 


like a kind, relenting mother, to coax back to her arms her sturdy 
offspring. Both parties seem to have come to the conclusion that 
they cannot do without each other. 

I went this evening to a meeting of the Kent Club, at ^Mr. J. 
Prescott Hall's. We had a large party of judges and lawyers, with 
Granger and Seward, and other distinguished strangers ; Charles 
King and myself the only resident laymen. The last hour of these 
very pleasant reunions bears a pretty strong resemblance to the 
high jinks which Sir Walter Scott describes so well (and no doubt 
from personal knowledge) in " Guy Mannering." 

April 23. — The British steamer " Sirius," Lieut, 
rnva o t e ;^j(,j^^j.^j Roberts, of the Royal Navy, commander, ar- 

" Sinus." ' J J J 

rived here last evening, having sailed from Cork on the 
4th. She has performed the voyage without any accident, except 
the slight one of grounding at Sandy Hook, from which she will have 
been extricated by this time. She has on board forty-six passengers. 
The " Sirius " comes out as pioneer to the great steam-packet 
which is preparing to come to this country. She was to have 
sailed on the 2d inst. from Cork, and has been looked for with 
some anxiety the last three or four days ; but the wind has been 
westerly during her whole voyage, and her passage has been longer 
than it will be hereafter. The arrival of the " Sirius '' is an event 
of so great an interest that the corporation of the city appointed a 
joint committee to receive and visit her on her arrival. This com- 
mittee, of which Alderman Hoxie is chairman, have made arrange- 
ments with Mr. Buchanan for that purpose, and they will probably 
make a jollification on the occasion. It is stated in the morning 
papers that the " Sirius," since her departure from Cork, has used 
only fresh water in her boilers, having on board Mr. Hall's con- 
densing apparatus. 

It was an agreeable coincidence that the great steam- 

Western." ^02i\. of which the " Sirius " was, as I said, the pioneer, 

should have arrived this morning just in time to have 

the event celebrated and the officers entertained at the anniversary 

304 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

dinner of St. George's Society, the red-cross banner floating from 
the windcivvs of the " banquet hall," the Carlton House. 

The " Great Western " (for such is the rather awkward name of 
this noble steamer) came up from Sandy Hook about two o'clock, 
passed around the " Sirius," then lying at anchor off the Battery, 
and, proceeding up the East river, hauled into Pike slip. She is 
much larger than her avant-courrier, being the largest vessel pro- 
pelled by steam which has yet made her appearance in the waters 
of Europe. Her registered measurement is 1,604 tons, length 
234 feet, breadth from out to out of the paddle-boxes 58 feet, 
'with her engines and machinery of 450 horse power. She is com- 
manded by Lieutenant Hoskin, of the Royal Navy, and owned by 
the " Great Western Steam Navigation Company." She sailed 
from Bristol on the 8th inst., four days later than the departure of 
the " Sirius " from Cork, performing thus her voyage, under the 
disadvantages of new machinery and a prevalence of head-winds, 
in fifteen days. 

The city was in a ferment during the day, from the arrival of 
these two interesting strangers. The Battery and adjacent streets 
were crowded with curious spectators, and the water covered with 
boats conveying obtrusive visitors on board. The committee of 
arrangements of the Corporation have fixed upon to-morrow, at one 
o'clock, for the two Houses, with their guests, to visit the " Sirius," 
where a collation will be prepared for them, on which occasion her 
commander, Lieutenant Roberts, is to receive the freedom of the 

The passengers on board the two vessels speak in the highest 
terms of the convenience, steadiness, and apparent safety of the 
new mode of conveyance across the ocean. Everybody is so 
enamoured of it, that for a while it will supersede the New York 
packets, — the noblest vessels that ever floated in the merchant 
service. Our countrymen, " studious of change, and pleased with 
novelty," will rush forward to visit the shores of Europe instead of 
resorting to Virginia or Saratoga Springs ; and steamers will con- 


tinue to be the fashion until some more dashing adv'cnturer of the 
go-ahead tribe shall demonstrate the practicability of balloon navi- 
gation, and gratify their impatience by a voyage over, and not 
tipon, the blue waters in two days, instead of as many weeks, 
thereby escaping the rocks and shoals and headlands which con- 
tinue yet to fright the minds of timid passengers and cautious navi- 
gators. Then they may soar above the dangers of icebergs, and 
look down with contempt upon the Goodwin sands or Hempstead 
beach. As for me, I am still skeptical on this subject. It would 
be presumptyous in this age of mechanical and scientific miracles 
to doubt the success of any startling experiment, or even to hint 
the possible difficulty of a contrivance by which a man might bite 
off his own nose ; but, after the experience I have had of such 
ships as the " England " or the "Sylvie de Grasse," I should hesi- 
tate to trust to the powers of the air or the fire-god for my trans- 
portation and safe-conduct over this rivulet of blue water of three 
thousand miles in width, which separates us from the land of our 

April 24. — The following gentlemen dined with us : Messrs. 
Francis Granger, William H. Seward, John A. King, Charles 
King, John Duer, R. M. Blatchford, Samuel Welles, Charles H. 
Russell, and M. H. Grinnell. 

April 25. — The arrival of the two British steamers, 
stclnshi"" "^ ^'^^ " Sirius " and the " Great Western," is the engross- 
ing topic of our novelty-loving population ; but whilst 
all honour is awarded to the projectors of these voyages, and every 
sort of compliment extended to the gallant commanders, Yankee 
pride is a little aroused, and the merit of originality in the daring 
enterprise of crossing the ocean by steam is successfully wrested 
from our brethren on the other side. The first voyage was made 
in 1819, from Savannah, in the steamship " Savannah," built in New 
York by Francis Fickett, owned by Daniel Dodd, and commanded 
by Capt. Moses Rogers. She went to Liverpool, and thence to 
Stockholm and St. Petersburgh, where she was visited by, and the 

306 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

commander received presents from, Bernadotte, Crown Prince of 
Sweden, and from the Emperor of Russia. The same vessel went 
aftenvard to Constantinople, where the Sultan conferred on Captain 
Rogers similar compliments. This experiment, it would appear, 
however, did not succeed entirely ; it is certain that she did not 
make short voyages, which circumstance may account for so long 
a time having elapsed before the attempt was renewed. 

The fact of the Americans being the first inventors of sea 
navigation by steam is consolatory to our national pride, but 
should not derogate from the credit of the British, who have now 
proved so triumphantly its feasibility, any more than the immortal 
discovery and construction of the steam-engine by British subjects 
should lessen the merit of our own Fulton, who first applied its 
power to the most important of its uses, the propelling of vessels. 

April 27. — Having received an invitation to accompany the 
Mayor and Corporation in their visit to the British steamer 
" Great Western," I went to the Mayor's office at one o'clock, 
where was assembled, besides the members of the Corporation, a 
large company, among whom w^ere the judges, members of the 
Legislature, Mr. Webster, Governor Mason of Michigan, Mr. 
Bradish, the Speaker, the editors of papers, etc. From the hall 
we proceeded to the foot of Beekman street, where the company 
was taken on board the barges to the number of about twenty, 
each commanded by an officer in full uniform, with a fine set of 
bargemen and bearing the American flag in her stern. When 
the company was embarked, the barges formed in procession, 
a band of music in the first, the whole commanded by Captain 
Stringham, of the United States Navy, and proceeded to the 
steamer, which was moored a few yards from the dock, off 
Pike street. We were received in good style by Captain Hoskin 
and his officers, and, after examining the stupendous machinery 
of the great vessel, the company were escorted to the saloon, 
and seated (all who could get seats) at a plentiful collation, 
arranged in excellent taste, with oceans of champagne. Messrs. 


Bradish, Webster, Maxwell, the Mayor, and other gentlemei. 
made speeches and gave toasts, and the British captains, Hoskin 
of the " Great Western," and Roberts of the " Sirius," appeared 
to be as happy as they said they were. The lovely Queen of 
Britain was toasted with enthusiasm equal to any which warms 
the hearts of her own subjects in their own country, and John 
Bull and Brother Jonathan were as loving as a young couple in 
the honeymoon. Long may these feelings continue ! The 
whole affair went off brilliantly. The day was uncommonly fine, 
and the scene on the water, with the crowds of spectators on the 
wharves, was not the least exciting part of the pageant. 

The vessel exceeds my expectation. Her steam-engine of 
four hundred horse power and the other machinery are upon a 
magnificent scale, and the accommodations for passengers in the 
best possible taste ; the principal saloon is surrounded by forty- 
two state-rooms, sufficiently capacious. The ornaments are of the 
quaint, old-fashioned style, and the panels are decorated by ex- 
quisite paintings, in the costumes of the reign of Louis XV., which 
give to the whole of this beautiful apartment the appearance of 
a cabinet of old Dresden china. One of the greatest advantages 
which this saloon has over the cabins of the packets consists in 
the height of the ceiling, which affords light and air equal to a 
well-proportioned dining-room or parlour on shore. All that is 
now wanting to confine to the steam-vessels the patronage of all 
the passengers going to Europe is the assurance of safety, and 
that will be obtained by one or two more passages across the 

May I. — The "Sirius" sailed at one o'clock, passed the 
packets in fine style, and, the weather being pleasant and the 
sea calm, was soon out of sight ahead. The Battery was filled 
with spectators, who gave repeated cheers to the interesting 
stranger, and she was saluted from the forts on her progress 
down the bay. ^Lay she perform her return voyage with as 
much safety and expedition as the voyage out, and thereby es- 


tablish full confidence in this admirable mode of communication 
between Great Britain and the United States ! 

The most shocking disaster on board a steamboat 
steamboat ^yhich has vct been recorded occurred on the 2=;th 

Disaster. ^ '^ 

of April, at Cincinnati. The steamboat " Moselle " 
started from the wharf on her voyage down the river. She went 
up about a mile to take in a family ; and during the time of her 
stopping, the steam was held up, for the purpose of showing off 
her speed in passing the city, when, at the instant her wheels 
made the first revolution, the boilers burst with a noise equal to 
the most violent crash of thunder. The vessel was blown into 
a thousand pieces, and of two hundred and eighty passengers on 
board only ninety were saved. Most of the persons on board 
belonged to Cincinnati, and in the number were many of the 
most respectable citizens, who were thus destroyed in an instant 
by the culpable conduct of the captain and other officers, in 
sight of their families and friends, who were assembled on shore 
to witness their departure. The captain paid the penalty of 
his crime, he being of the number killed. The papers are filled 
with the details of this shocking catastrophe, which cannot be 
read without shuddering. 

May 4. — The subject of the late unfortunate duel 
epr>r on e ^gj-^^^^gj^ Messis. Gravcs and Cilley, which resulted in 

Duel Case. -' ' 

the death of the latter, was referred in the House of 
Representatives to a special committee, of which Mr. Toucey is 
chairman. To the disgrace of the administration party, instead of 
making this lamentable case the occasion of correcting the popular 
code of morals in relation to these personal encounters, and 
thereby removing as far as practicable this stain of blood-guiltiness 
from our land, they seized it with avidity, and endeavoured to turn 
it into part of their detestable party capital. The Speaker ap- 
pointed on the committee of seven, a chairman and three other 
thorough whole-hog men, political enemies of Mr. Graves and his 
second in the duel, Mr. Wise, — fellows who would sell their souls 

1838.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 309 

for their party, and have no more notion of political honesty than 
they have of the refined feelings of gentlemen. This committee 
has now brought in a report, recommending that Mr. Graves be 
expelled and Mr. Wise reprimanded by the House, — the most 
outrageous proceeding I have ever known in a legislative body, 
— a grand jury trying the accused, convicting them, and awarding 
their punishment ; a greater violation (as Mr. Adams told them) 
of the privileges of the House than the offence itself, which the 
committee were appointed to investigate. 

This report has been before the House several days, and occa- 
sioned a warm debate. Some high-minded gentlemen of the 
administration party cannot be made to swallow it. Mr. Adams 
made a great speech, in which he placed the unworthy conduct of 
the majoiity in such a point of view as would have made them 
blush, if their instructions had permitted. On Monday last, Mr. 
Graves and ]\Ir. Wise both addressed the House, protesting against 
this unparliamentary course of proceeding, which would consti- 
tute four political adversaries their judges, and condemn them 

Mr. Graves closed his speech with the following touching re- 
marks, which, while they depict his sensibility and distress of 
mind for the part which he had to sustain in that unhappy affair, 
portray in glowing colours the absurdity of the tyranny which is 
exercised by public opinion over the minds and consciences of 
the people of this country in all things relating to affairs of honour, 
as we most unwisely call them. Who that read them would ven- 
*ture to decide that the lot of the survivor in this duel is better 
than that of the victim? And who that knows as I do, this 
amiable and high-minded gentleman, would not desire to pour 
the balm of consolation into his afflicted bosom, rather than seek 
to make the event which he, in common with all good men, so 
deeply deplores, a subject for the display of personal hostility 
and a weapon of political warfare ? " Sir," said Mr. Graves, " I 
was involved in the commencement of this unfortunate affair in- 


nocently. I never conceived it possible that such consequences 
would have devolved upon me when I consented to become the 
bearer of that ill-fated note. Otherwise I should never have 
taken upon myself the task. I am not, and never have been, the 
advocate of the anti-social and unchristian practice of duelling. 
I have never up to this day fired a duelling pistol ; and, until the 
day when I went to the field, I never took any weapon in my 
hand in view of a duel. Public opinion is practically the para- 
mount law of the land ; every other law, both human and divine, 
ceases to be observed, yea, withers and perishes, in contact with 
it. It was this paramount law of this nation and of this House 
that forced me, under the penalty of dishonour, to submit myself 
to the code which impelled me unwillingly into this tragical affair. 
Upon the heads of this nation and at the doors of this House 
rests the blood with which my unfortunate hands have been 

May 5. — Captain Marryat, having given lately at Toronto a 
very injudicious toast, complimentary to Captain Drew and his 
associates, who destroyed the American steamboat " Caroline," 
the wise people of Lewistown held a solemn town-meeting, at 
which they resolved to burn all Captain Marryat's books which 
could be found in tlie village. This most ridiculous resolve 
was duly carried into effect. A bonfire was kindled on the 
shore directly opposite Queenstown, and all the " Peter Simples," 
"Jacob Faithfuls," "Japhets," etc., which could be found were 
cast in the flames ; the ofificiating high-priest at the altar of 
popular absurdity pronouncing aloud the title of each as it was, 

Captain Marryat, I dare say, made a fool of himself (not a 
very difficult task, I should judge, from what I have seen of him) ; 
but the Lewistownians have beaten him " all to smash," as the 
Kentuckians say. How mortified he must have been to hear that 
his books had been burned after they were paid for; and how 
sorry the booksellers, that their praiseworthy labours to enlighten 


the American people should be so ungratefully requited, and so 
many copies of their publications come to an untimely end I 
What a grand " dare up " of American resentment ! What a 
glorious ending in smoke of patriotic indignation ! They ought 
to have passed a resolution at the meeting to burn all articles of 
British production or manufacture, especially coals. The village 
newspaper, in its virtuous wrath, announces that " ' Midshipman 
Easy' would not burn, its stupidity rendering it fire-proof." 
"Wherry sewere," as Sam Weller says. 

De artureof ^^^^ 7* — '^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^'^ ^ gala-day in New York, 
the "Great The British steamer "Great Western," Captain Hos- 
'\\estern. j.jj^^ sailed at two o'clock from Pier No. i, North river. 
All the city went to behold the sight. The Battery was a mass of 
living witnesses to this event. Castle Garden was filled, and all 
the adjacent wharves and houses were thronged with spectators. 
\\'hen the steamer started she was accompanied by a dozen large 
steamboats with crowded decks and ornamented by flags, among 
which the loving embraces of St. George's Cross and the Stars and 
Stripes were conspicuous in every instance. I went with a party on 
board of the " Providence." The day was very fine, and the gal- 
lant fleet presented a scene in the bay not unlike that at the great 
Canal celebration, when Dr. Mitchell mingled the waters of Lake 
Erie with those of the ocean, and I was the fugleman to nine 
cheers so loud and astounding that it is doubtful if the highlands 
of Neversink have to this day recovered from the trembling which 
they occasioned. 

Having reached the bay below Staten Island, the " Great West- 
ern " stopped, and the " Providence " went alongside and took off 
a large party of gentlemen who went down in her, among whom 
were Governor Marcy, Mr. Seward, and many other distinguished 
persons. We then left her with shouts and good wishes for her 
safe and speedy return to the public-spirited company who under- 
took this enterprise, and sent her out a successful pioneer. She 
pursued her course in fine style, and we returned to the city and 


got home to a late dinner. There was a great crowd on board the 
" Providence," in which were many ladies, and the excursion was 
quite a pleasant one. An interesting incident occurred whilst we 
lay alongside of the " Great Western," in the bay. The ship 
" Colon," from Havana, came in with a number of passengers, with 
all sails set. Sailing beautifully on the wind, she passed through 
the fleet of gay steamboats, cheered the " Great Western," went 
close under our bows, almost touching the bowsprit, and passed 
triumphantly rejoicing on her way to the renowned city of 
Gotham; it was a fine offset of sails and rigging against steam 
and paddles. 

May 8. — Died yesterday, in Philadelphia, Thomas 

A Type of -r, 1 r i ^ -„ 

Longevity. Bradford, successor to Dr. Franklin, and the oldest 
printer and editor in the United States. He was in the 
ninety-fourth year of his age. 

History of ^^^ 12. —The history of the reign of Ferdinand 

Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic, by William H. Prescott, an 

and Isabella. a • x i , . 

American, I am proud to say, has been published in 
three volumes. I have just been reading it, and I think it is en- 
titled to a place alongside of Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon. Great 
care has been bestowed upon it, and no modern work displays more 
accurate knowledge or laborious investigation. Irving has treated 
some of the leading subjects of this history in the " Life of Colum- 
bus " and his "Conquest of Granada," over which he has thrown 
the charm of his poetical style ; but here is a book, rich in all the 
lore of the Spanish archives, diving deep into authorities with which 
the reading world has been heretofore unacquainted, and making 
clear the dark passages of that interesting period of European 
history, the close of the fifteenth and the commencement of the 
sixteenth centuries. 

May 14. — The Pennsylvania Bank of the United States has 
sent on ^20,000 to Charleston for the relief of the suiferers by the 
fire. This is a monstrous act of munificence, and proves the dan- 
ger of such an institution in a free country. Biddle must have 


some horrid design in this, — nothing short of an overthrow of the 
Government and destruction of the Uberties of the people. 

May 18. — Our neighbouring city of Philadelphia 
Riot in phiia- ^^^^^ disgraced yesterday by a riot, which ended in the 

delphia. ° ■' "' "' 

destruction of Pennsylvania Hall, a place of meeting 
for the discussion of abolition questions. A meeting was held in 
the forenoon, and speeches were made which exasperated the mob. 
Another meeting was to have taken place in the evening, but it was 
prevented by the interference of the ]\Iayor. The mob, still far- 
ther instigated, it is said, by the wanton outrage of public opinion 
in the exhibition in the public streets of white men and women 
walking arm in arm with blacks, assembled in greater numbers in the 
evening, broke into the hall, destroyed everything they could find, 
and set fire to the building, which was entirely destroyed by ten 
o'clock. The excitement was so great that the Mayor and other 
civil officers were unable to prevent the outrage, and some of the 
number (particularly Mr. Watmouth, the sheriff) were dangerously 
wounded. A large proportion of the abolitionists assembled in the 
hall were females, of whom several harangued the meeting, and 
were foremost in arousing the excited populace. This dreadful 
subject gains importance every day, and reflecting men see in it 
the seeds of the destruction of our institutions. 

]\Iav 19. — The following gentlemen dined with us : Governor 
I^Iason of IMichigan, Mr. Bullock of Kentucky, Mr. Charles A. 
Davis, Mr. James W. Otis, Mr. Delprat, Mr. Abraham Schermer- 
horn, ]\rr. Irv^ing Van Wart, Dr. McLean, General Fleming, and 
Charles A. Heckscher. 

Ma.y 31. — The fine weather this afternoon tempted my wife, 
my daughter, and myself to go to Hoboken. We crossed from 
Canal street, walked to the Pavilion in " Les Champs Elys6es " (a 
place better entitled to the name than the more celebrated one near 
Paris), and returned home at eight o'clock. It is many years since 
I \dsited this beautiful subu7-b of New York, which has been greatly 
improved. New walks have been laid out, the grounds beautifully 

314 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

arranged, the woods cleared, and a fair chance given to Nature to 
show off her charms to the greatest advantage. 

June i . — A resolution offered by IMr. Webster to 
Specie Circular^^j the specic circular passed the Senate on the 
28th by a strong vote of thirty- four to ten. On the 
question of engrossing this resolution for a third reading the ten votes 
in the minority were given by the following Senators. It is amusing 
to see in what company Mr. Calhoun, the great southern nullifier, 
has placed himself. What bedfellows political inconsistency may 
bring a man acquainted with ! Nays : Messrs. Allen, Benton, 
Brown, Calhoun, Hubbard, Linn, Morris, Niles, Smith of Con- 
necticut, Strange. Of these, five may be called Yankee loco-foco 
loafers ; viz., two from Connecticut, one from New Hampshire, 
and two from Ohio, the latter being virtually a New England 
State, although far from its fatherland. Now, these five men do 
no more speak the language of their constituents than they do 
that of truth, honour, and patriotism, and here is Mr. Calhoun 
amongst them ; the proud, tenacious, high-minded Carolinian, 
Mr. Calhoun ! Well, as he likes best, so be it ! As he sows so 
he shall reap. 

This resolution was taken up in the House of Representatives on 
Wednesday, and carried through, without debate, in less than no 
time. The vote on the question " Shall the joint resolution from the 
Senate, repealing the treasury circular, pass ? " was carried by the 
astonishing, unexpected vote of one hundred and fifty-four to twenty- 
nine, and the resolution sent back to the Senate in half an hour 
after the House was called to order. In the virtuous minority, our 
two hopeful city representatives, Cambreling and Moore, are to be 
found, of course ; but as far as I can judge from running my eye over 
the Ayes and Nays in the newspaper, very few other members from 
our State were willing to be seen in such bad and unfashionable 
company. This great event, together with Mr. Biddle's letter to 
Mr. Adams, written in consequence of it, have infused a joyful 
spirit of confidence amongst our New York folk. Verily, Wall 


street rejoiceth ! Stocks have risen and domestic exchanges fallen, 
and it would seem that the touch of Webster (as he said on a cer- 
tain occasion of that of Alexander Hamilton) has caused the corpse 
of public credit to rise on its feet and stand erect. 

June 8. — Immediately after the passage of Mr. Webster's reso- 
lution rescinding the specie circular, business revived. Confidence 
was restored to financial operations, and hopes were entertained of 
better times ; but a blight has come upon our bright prospects. 
The evil influence of the administration, which seems determined 
to oppose the wishes of the people, has again been at work. Mr. 
Woodbury has issued a circular, misconstruing the intentions of 
Congress, and prohibiting the receiving of the notes of all banks 
who have since some day in 1836 issued small bills, thereby " visit- 
ing the sins of the fathers upon the children." This ungracious 
measure of the administration, together with the tardiness of the 
banks of Philadelphia in declaring their intentions to resume specie 
payments, has thrown all things back again. Stocks in New York 
have fallen more than five per cent., and foreign and domestic ex- 
changes have risen. The administration and the party which sup- 
ports them seem determined to " die with harness on their backs." 
If they go out of office they will leave a ruined and bankrupt 
country to their successors. 

June 14. — It has been often said that a man must 
luXs' ^ ^ ^ ^^^^ great luck to get himself hanged in this country. 
It is certainly a melancholy proof of the depravity of 
our morals, that the most flagrant offences against the laws, and the 
most atrocious violations of the peace and good order of society, 
go daily " unwhipped of Justice," by the misjudging lenity, if not 
the base corruption, of men elected to preserve, as jurors, the 
purity of our legal institutions. Two cases have lately occurred, 
not by any means calculated to make us proud of the name of 

Some time last winter a personal dispute occurred, during the 
session of the House of Representatives of the State of Arkansas, 


between a Mr. \\'ilson, the Speaker then presiding, and Major 
Anthony, a member, in the course of which the former came down 
from his chair, drew a large knife (a weapon which it appears 
these modern barbarians carry about their persons), attacked his 
adversary and killed him on the spot. Anthony endeavoured 
to defend himself (he had also his knife) ; but the move- 
ment of the honourable Speaker was so sudden as to render his 
efforts ineffectual, and I suppose it was " out of order " for other 
members to interfere in the parliamentary discipline of their 
presiding officer. 

Wilson has been tried for this flagrant outrage. There is a full 
account of the trial in the newspapers, taken from the Arkansas 
" Gazette." From the testimony jt does not appear that any violent 
provocation was offered by the deceased, and the facts above- 
stated were substantially proved, notwithstanding which the verdict 
of the jury was as follows : " Guilty of excusable homicide, and 
not guilty in any manner or form as charged in the indictment;" 
and the prisoner was discharged from custody. Further accounts 
state that immediately after this mockery of justice, the jurors, 
with the sheriffs and witnesses, had a grand drinking frolic at the 
expense of the defendant. 

The other case has just occurred in our own Court of Sessions. 
During the last election for Ma3'or and Corporation, an affidavit 
was distributed at all the polls, made by a rascally Irishman, named 
Edmund Burke, in which our respectable Mayor, Mr. Aaron Clark, 
was charged with having offered a bribe of a quarter's rent to 
Burke, who was his tenant, if he would vote for him and the rest 
of the Whig ticket. This fellow was instigated to commit the per- 
jury by James Thea and other worthy supporters of the Van Buren 
party, who carried him to the magistrate to take his deposition, 
paid the expenses, had the hand-bills printed, and let the poison 
work its way into the public mind, well knowing that the antidote 
would come too late, and knowing also that there was not the 
shadow of truth in the charge. Mr. Clark had never seen the 


man in his life, owned no such house, and the whole storj' turned 
out (as might well be supposed) an infamous falsehood. Burke 
was tried for the perjury. His worthy friends and coadjutors ad- 
vised him to plead insanity and drunkenness, which plea found 
favour in the eyes of the jury, and he was acquitted, to be used again, 
when occasion shall require him, to blacken the character of some 
other virtuous citizen, and promote the success of the party which 
ISIr. Van Buren calls his own. 

June 15. — A great curiosity is to be seen on the 
stuyvesanfs ^j^.^j avenue, at the corner of 13th street. A fine, 

Pear-tree. ' -^ ' 

healthy, patriarchal pear-tree, which annually bears 
leaves and blossoms, and would produce fruit if boys would let it. 
This tree, which, by the regulation of the avenue and streets, is 
now at the corner close to the curb-stone, and has been recently 
protected by a substantial wooden railing, was formerly one of the 
trees in the orchard of Governor Stuyvesant, a great distance from 
New York, but now in the midst of a large city population. Tradi- 
tion has been ransacked for its history, which forms a part of our 
city statistics. Grave essays have been written upon its longevity, 
and poetry has sung its praises. This tree was the subject of con- 
versation at Mr. Stuyvesant's table to-day. There is no doubt of 
the fact, I beheve, which I now record, that it was brought out 
from Holland by Governor Stuyvesant, and planted with his own 
hands on the spot where it now stands. Governor Stuyvesant came 
to New York in the month of May, 1647 ; the pear-tree is, there- 
fore, one hundred and ninety-one years old. 

June 21. — The heart sickens, and the pen folters, in 
steamboat recording the dreadful disasters which occur almost 


daily in the steamboat navigation of the United States. 
I fear it will soon become doubtful whether Fulton's great invention 
will not prove a curse, rather than a blessing, to mankind. It cer- 
tainly will, or the use of steam in navigation be discontinued, 
unless measures are adopted to punish negligence and temerity, 
and to insure safety by using necessary precautions. 

3l8 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [.Etat.58. 

June 22. — The unworthy representative of New 
Sub-Trensury york in Congress, Mr. Cambreling, brought forward 
the sub-treasury bill on Tuesday last, in the House of 
Representatives, where it has been debated ever since, many con- 
jectures having been formed about its fate, and calculations made 
of the state of the vote on the passage of this obnoxious bill. It 
will be exceedingly close ; not more than two or three majority 
either way. I confess I have great fears of the result. The Gov- 
ernment is reckless of consequences ; determined to support them- 
seh^es by the power which this measure will give them, they put all 
the screws upon their political partisans, and hold out every sort 
of corrupt inducement to those who may have had occasional 
qualms of honesty or patriotism. My fears are excited in propor- 
tion to the extent of the evil which I apprehended from the passage 
of the bill, and my want of faith in the ability of some half-way 
Whigs or Conservatives to resist the bribes which a corrupt admin- 
istration will not hesitate to offer. If these things continue, and 
the people do not arise in their might to rebuke them, the republic 
is at an end. 

June 27. — This odious measure of a corrupt administration was 
rejected on Monday last by a majority oi fourteen. Every new 
attempt to increase the President's power, and to counteract the 
will of the people, is frustrated by their representatives with in- 
creased majorities. The administration is on its back. I\Iay it 
never rise again ! 

July 12. — The members of Congress from East and North have 
arrived in town, glad to be released from the servitude of public 
duty in this scorching weather. They have been in session ten 
months, with the exception only of the few weeks intervening 
between the close of the extra session and the opening of the reg- 
ular one. I called upon Mr. Webster this morning. He appears 
much fagged with hard work, and pants for relaxation and sea-air 
at one of his favorite resorts on the shore of his own State ; and 
well is he entitled to that or any other comfort, for well has he 

1838.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP IIOXE. 319 

wrought in the cause of the people, as one of the leaders of that 
noble band, who, although wanting in the power to do much good, 
have succeeded in preventing much evil. I saw, also, our worthy 
representative, Edward Curtis, who shows the marks of a long and 
distressing illness, with which he was afflicted at Washington, during 
which he, also, suffering as he was with the pains of inflammatory 
rheumatism, was compelled to keep his seat in the House when the 
vote of every honest man was indispensable to counteract the mis- 
chievous designs of the administration party. Honour and praise 
to the noble Whigs and Conservatives ! They have saved the 

RocKAWAv, Aug. 10. — We had a very pleasant ball 
rs anny ^j^. ,g,^j, j j^^j ^^ interesting conversation with 
Mrs. Butler, late Miss Fanny Kemble, who is here with 
her husband and two little daughters. This lady, whom I greatly 
admired when she arrived in this country with her distinguished 
father, Charles Kemble, has seldom visited New York since the 
publication of her journal, in which she took some foolish hbcrtics 
with me and my family and others of whose hospitality she had 
partaken. I was never seriously offended at what she said in this 
book, but viewed it " more in sorrow than in anger ; " for I thought 
it a pity that a woman so brilliant, who was capable of better things, 
should have compromised her literary reputation by giving to the 
world her inconsiderate, girlish remarks upon the daily events 
which amused her lively and excitable imagination, when I knew 
her talents were worthy of better employment. This, then, was the 
first time we had met, and she felt doubtful of what I might con- 
sider our relative positions. As soon as she entered the room I 
seated myself at her side, told her I was happy to renew an ac- 
quaintance, the recollection of which had always given me great 
pleasure, and danced with her. In the course of our conversation 
she said to me, with great earnestness and solemnity, and much agi- 
tated, " Mr. Hone, I cannot express to you how happy you have made 
me by the notice you have taken of me on this occasion. Believe 

320 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat.58. 

me, I am extremely grateful." I, of course, turned it off as well as I 
could, observing that she had no reason to be grateful ; my motive 
was selfish, as I sought my own gratification in renewing an acquaint- 
ance so congenial to my feelings, etc. During this conversation the 
tear which stood in her flashing, expressive eye convinced me that 
this highly gifted woman, with all the waywardness of thought and 
independence of action which the circumstances of her early intro- 
duction into life had ingrafted upon her natural disposition, possesses 
that warmth of heart which I thought I had formerly the sagacity to 
discover, and for which I have never failed to give her credit. 

September 4. — Granger is in town. I called to see him this 
morning, at the Astor House. I told him that I thought the 
selection made at the Broadway House, on Friday evening, of 
delegates to the Convention unfavourable to his chance of being 
nominated Governor, for I consider them Seward men. He seems 
to think, notwithstanding, that he has more strength at the West 
than Seward. This question must not be suffered to create a 
schism in the Whig party. We have higher principles of action 
than any personal preferences between the friends of Mr. Granger 
and Mr. Seward. 

September 10. — The two curses of our country, or rather two of 
the curses, — for General Jackson's administration of the Govern- 
ment entailed enough of them upon us, — are the fanaticism of the 
abolitionists of the North, and the violence of the nullifiers of the 
South. A late transaction which has taken place in this city 
inculpates some of the former gentry most fearfully, and I should 
not wonder if they are sent to carry out their doctrines of emanci- 
pation within the walls of the Penitentiary. 

The facts are these : A negro boy, the slave of a Mr. Darg, a 
Southern gentleman, who was here on a visit, robbed his master 
of $7,000 and absconded ; was harboured by a fellow called Ruggles 
and others, his philanthropic associates, into whose hands the 
money got by some means ; and a Mr. Barney Corse, a man of 
some standing, one of the Society of Friends, was employed as 


plenipotentiary to negotiate a peace with the master, the condi- 
tions of which were, that on the payment of $1,000, which he 
had offered as reward, and tlie manumission of the slave, with a 
pledge not to prosecute him for the robbery, the remainder of the 
money should be restored. This he agreed to, and received the 
principal part of the money. But the police, having received infor- 
mation of the transaction, interfered with the high contracting par- 
ties, and annulled the treaty. Mr. Corse and Ruggles were arrested, 
and I cannot very well see how they are to avoid the penalty of a 
pretty serious crime into which their officious interference has 
involved them. It is not pretended that Mr. Corse, at any rate, 
was concerned as instigator or party to the robbery; but their 
subsequent conduct will bring them in as accessories after the f:ict, 
and the excitement of the public mind on the subject of abolition 
and everything that relates to the blacks is so great, that these 
men will have little chance to escape the penalty of the law. 

September 14. — The Whig Convention assembled at Utica, on 
Wednesday, in the court-house. William H. Seward was nomi- 
nated Governor, and Luther Bradish Lieutenant-Governor. These 
are excellent nominations, and will be supported with unanimity by 
the Whig party. Mr. Seward is a man of superior talents, unwav- 
ering principles, and popular manners. Consulting my personal 
predilections I might, perhaps, have preferred my old friend, Mr. 
Granger, who, having stood the brunt when there was little hope 
of success, seems to have had the strongest claim upon the party 
now, when the chance of success is so much better. But the 
canvass shows the undiminished confidence of his friends. He 
wanted but three votes on the third ballot of being the nominee, 
and on that ballot there were five scattering votes. As for Luther 
Bradish, no man in the State of New York is better qualified for 
any office to which the people may call him. 

Septemcer 21. — Died this day, Mr. Jacob Lorillard, in the 
sixty-fifth year of his age, — a benevolent man and a good 
citizen ; intelligent and active in all the social relations of life. 

322 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 58. 

and scrupulously just in all his concerns. He retired from his 
business (that of tanner and currier) a few years since, having 
amassed a very large fortune, of which he made a good use. 
Mr. Lorillard and I were associated together in the German 
Society, in the Presidency of which he was my immediate suc- 
cessor, and no person in the city possessed more influence with 
the German population. I deeply lament the death of this 
excellent man. 

September 29, — The ex-king Joseph Bonaparte, 
Josep arrived here with a numerous suite on Saturday, in 

Bonaparte. ■' ' 

the packet-ship " Philadelphia," from London. He 
left the United States four or five years since, as was supposed, 
to take advantage of some political movements which seemed 
to indicate the chance of a restoration of the House of Bonaparte ; 
but he has returned, and, I trust, to spend the remainder of his 
days quietly in this best of all Yankee republics. He is a gentle- 
manly, orderly man, and has contrived to save out of the two 
crowns which he has worn jewels enough to make himself 
comfortable and to benefit his neighbors. As for his chance to 
reign in France, it is " no go." If the French get rid of their 
excellent monarch, and overthrow the present order of things, 
they will have something better or worse than the " House of 
Bonaparte " to rule them. The whole sap of the family tree ran 
into one branch ; the rest has not fire enough to kindle a new 
conflagration, or strength enough to put it out if it should be 
kindled by others. 

October 3. — The elections in the several States 
Elections. which are to settle the important question between 

the present administration and the people are now 
commencing. The interest taken in these elections is unprece- 
dented, as well for their own importance as for the influence 
which their results will have upon the great crowning contest, 
which we are to have in November. 

October 13. — The Whigs, ever sanguine, bad politicians 


certainly, discouraged by unfavourable reports, and elated by the 
news of success, made up hastily from unreliable estimates, 
have experienced several severe disappointments of late. Penn- 
sylvania has gone against us. Porter, the loco-foco candidate 
for Governor, has beaten Rittner by five thousand majority at 
least ; Ohio, which we thought our own, is, I fear, all wrong ; 
but the strangest thing of all is our next-door neighbour. New 
Jersey. The election was held on Tuesday and Wednesday last. 
^^'e had it all : six members of Congress by general ticket, and 
the Legislature by great majorities ; but yesterday the tables 
began to change, our majorities were reduced and those of the 
Van Burenites increased. Our air-built castles began to totter ; 
every fresh account was less favourable. The Whig majorities, 
like Paddy's candle placed before the fire to dry, became smaller 
and smaller; the Tories began to bet, and now our hopes are 
reduced so low that the most we claim is fifty to one hundred 
on the canvass of the whole State, and it seems probable that we 
may not get more than one or two Congressmen out of the 
whole ticket. Nothing is left for the good cause but a great 
victory in the State of New York, and already the despondency 
which succeeds disappointment has taken hold of our friends ; 
we must fight. 

Here the issue is to be tried. I cannot think that the great 
work which was so auspiciously commenced last fall is now to be 
o'^erthrown. The cause of the constitution and the laws, the 
preservation of our precious institutions, are in the hands of the 
Whigs of New York, and there appears to be zeal and spirit in 
our ranks worthy of such a cause, and of a motive of action so 

October 15. — The Van Buren men have agreed 

Con"ress°men ^^P°^ ^ tickct for Congrcss. Loco-foco to the hub : 

Cambreling, Eli Moore, John McKeon, and Edwin 

Forrest. The latter is the celebrated tragedian, with no claim, 

that I have ever heard of, to the honour of representing the people 


of New York in Congress, but that of exciting, by dint of loud 
words and furious stamps, the pit of the Bowery Theatre to 
raise their shirt-sleeves high in the air and shout Hurrah for 
Forrest ! He may be a leader of the Pitt party, but no statesman. 
True it is that these men may " steal a horse when we cannot 
look over the hedge." I remember well how I was berated by 
some of my political friends, when, as Mayor, I assisted in the 
ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the Bowery Theatre, 
and made a speech on the occasion. No act of my public life 
lost me so many friends, and here we have a regular-built actor 
presented to the people for their suffrages ; and he will probably 
(if he should consent to serve) receive the greatest number of 
votes on their ticket. The Pittites will, of course, shout most 
obstreperously for him, but the better sort of men, the gentlemen 
(the few that belong to the party), the moral men, as well as the 
Five-point politicians and disciples of Fanny Wright, will vote 
for Forrest and Eli Moore, without the slightest compunction ; 
and why? Because they are spell-bound, and conscience-shack- 
led by those powerful cabalistic words, regular nominee. 

October iS. — I attended this evening a meeting 
MeeUn °^ leading, influential gentlemen of the Whig party, at 

the Astor House. There were sixty or eighty present. 
I was appointed chairman, and R. M. Blatchford, secretary. The 
object of this meeting was to confer with several of our friends 
from different parts of the State on the prospects for the important 
approaching election. Thurlow Weed and Mr. Benedict, of Albany, 
were with us, and our candidate for Governor, Mr. Seward. The 
accounts were cheering, and a noble spirit pervaded the meeting, 
undismayed by recent disasters in other States. It was represented 
that a sum of about $5,000 was required, to be distributed in five 
or six of the counties. Subscriptions were taken on the spot, and 
$3,400 subscribed down, and about the same sum in addition, con- 
ditioned upon the success of the Whigs in the city elections ; in ad- 
dition to which a committee of seven, including the chairman and 


secretary, were appointed to raise further contributions. This is an 
irksome duty for me to perform, but, situated as I was, I could not 
shrink from it. The committee consists of David B. Ogden, J. P. 
Phoenix, Simeon Draper, Jr., Thomas Tileston, Jonathan Amory, 
Blatchford, and myself. ^ 

October 19, — The Committee on Collections met this morning, 
and divided into separate committees of two. David B. Ogden 
and I sallied out in a pelting rain, in which we paddled about for 
upwards of three hours. We called upon several of our rich citi- 
zens, some of whom gave liberally, and others, having no regard 
for their own characters, or sympathy for our ducked condition, re- 
fused to give ; but we have done our duty, disagreeable as it was. 
We shall get $5,000, but there is more required for the expenses of 
the city election. 

October 20. — The following gentlemen (a pleasant, jovial set) 
dined with us : Colonel Hunter, Mr. John Henry, and Mr. Moly- 
neux of Savannah, Mr. Power, Mr. Nicholson, Governor Mason 
of Michigan, Mr. Charles Heckscher, Mr. Edward Heckscher, Mr. 
Thomas Moore, and J. D. P. Ogden. 

October 22. — Ten gentlemen met and dined to-day 
theHoneCiub ^^ ^^^' J°^^ Ward's, Boud street, being the first meeting 
of a club which was there organized to dine at each 
other's houses every Monday, at five o'clock punctually. The pre- 
sent members are, Simeon Draper, John Ward, Moses H. Grinnell, 
William G. Ward, John Crumby, Roswell L. Colt, Edward R. Biddle, 
Jonathan Prescott Hall, R. M. Blatchford, and Philip Hone. 

It was agreed to extend the number to twelve by the admission 
of Charles H. Russell and James W. Otis, to which number the 
club is limited. A sumptuary law was enacted, confining the dinner 
to soup, fish, oysters, and four dishes of meat, with a dessert of 
fruit, ice- cream, and jelly. The host is allowed to invite four gen- 
tlemen, not members of the club. The members did me the 
honour to name the club " The Hone Club," and I was appointed 
the President. 

326 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

October 26. — This new enemy to the peace of 
Abolition. mankind, which I fear is destined to overthrow the in- 
stitutions of our country, has of late raised its head 
proudly in this State. The candidates nominated for ofifice at the 
..approaching election, from Governor downward, have been ad- 
dressed in circular letters by committees of the abolitionists, pro- 
posing in rather a peremptory style certain questions regarding 
slavery and the political disqualifications of the free blacks. Such 
of these missives as were addressed to the candidates for Governor 
and Lieutenant-Governor are signed by William Jay and Garrett 
Smith. Messrs. Seward and Bradish have replied at length. Their 
letters are published. That of the former is exceedingly well 
written, somewhat evasive, and not by any means satisfactory to 
his inquisitors. Mr. Bradish is much more conclusive. He comes 
out boldly and answers all the questions in the affirmative. This 
does not by any means prove him to be an abolitionist, but will be 
so construed by that party, and will do him great injury with the 
Whigs in this part of the State. I regret it exceedingly, because I 
think this gratuitous committal was unnecessary ; nor do I allow the 
right of a set of men, standing upon their own ground, and having 
views and motives abstracted from the great leading principles of 
political faith, to propound questions of this nature to the persons 
set up for the suffrages of the people, and make their favourable 
response the condition of their support. Such a course of inquisi- 
torial scrutiny into men's consciences, if persevered in, will have 
the effect to destroy that lofty independence and integrity of mind 
which should characterize the representatives of the people, palsy 
the executive arm, and sully the purity of the judiciary. Already 
have I heard the most opprobrious epithets applied to my excellent 
friend Bradish. I know not whether the votes he loses here may 
not be overbalanced in the West, where the great strength of the 
abolitionists lies ; but I regret that a man so upright and intelligent 
should expose himself to the reproaches of any portion of his politi- 
cal friends, by a supererogatory declaration of opinions which I 


maintain no set of men had a right to call for. The same system 
is in operation here. On the announcement of my name as a can- 
didate for the Assembly the following letter was sent to me. I 
copy it at length, because I consider it to be the root of a noxious 
plant, which in its growth will overshadow the land, corrupt the soil 
of repubUcan America, and produce the fruits of anarchy and dis- 
union : — 

New York, Oct. 26, 1S38. 
Philip Hone, Esq^ : — 

Sir, — We notice that you are nominated to represent this county in the 
Assembly of this State. As citizens and legal voters of this city, the un- 
dersigned, in behalf of themselves and others, beg leave to propound the 
following questions : — 

Are you in favour of the immediate repeal of such laws of this State as 
permit slaveholders to introduce slaves, and hold them here as such? 
Are you in favour of enacting a law which shall secure a trial by jury to 
every person claimed in this State as a slave.'' Are you in favour of so 
amending the constitution of this State that civil rights shall not be 
granted or withheld according to complexion.? Are you in favour of the 
passage (by the Legislature) of resolutions declaring the power and duty 
of Congress immediately to abolish slavery and the slave-trade in the 
District of Columbia, and to prohibit immediately the inter-state slave- 
trade; and, also, resolutions protesting against the annexation of Texas, 
or the admission to the Union of any State whose constitution tolerates 
slavery? An early answer to the foregoing questions is respectfully 
requested, and should you neglect to reply it will be considered equiva- 
lent to a negative answer. 

Respectfully, your obedient servants, 
A. LiBOLT, Chairina7i. L. W. Gilbert, 

Anthony Lane, S. W. Benedict, 

E. A. Lambert, J. H. Colton, 

Thomas Ritter, Lewis Tappan, 

A. O. Willcox, .Thom.\s F. Field, 

W. S. Dorr, Hiram Tupper, 

M. R. Berry, John Jay, 

Thomas O. Buckmaster, P. B. Smith, 

C. S. Delavan, Addison A. Jayne, 

Adratls Doolittle, John W. Hill. 

Asa Parker, 

328 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

To this letter I returned the following brief reply. I wish with 
all my heart that the answers of Seward and Bradish had been 
equally brief. " The least said," particularly in black and white, 
" the soonest mended." 

October 26, 1838. 

Gentlemen: — I have received your letter of this day, propounding 
several questions to me as a candidate to represent this city in the 
Assembly of the State. I am relieved from the obligation of answering 
these questions (if such obligation exists on the part of a candidate 
toward a portion of his fellow-citizens), by the circumstance of my not 
having accepted the nomination with which I was honoured by my 
political friends. I am, etc., P. H. 

Messrs. A. Libolt, etc., etc. 

October 29. — The meeting was held this evening 
MeeUn ^^ Masonic Hall to receive the report of the nominat- 

ing committee. The house was full as usual, up-stairs 
and down-stairs and round about. That excellent old-fashioned 
federal Whig, David B. Ogden, presided, with twenty vice-presi- 
dents and four secretaries. It is refreshing once in a while to see 
a relic of honest political principles, like David B. Ogden, allowed 
to take a prominent place in public affairs. It is almost the only 
thing of the kind I have seen in relation to the coming election. 
I cannot recognize the name on either ticket of a leading 
Federalist or National Republican, — they are permitted to work 
and pay money ; they must bake the loaves and catch the fishes, 
but they get precious few of them for themselves. Every man on 
the Congress ticket was in full communion at Tammany Hall five 
years ago. They are generally good men. A better fellow is not 
to be found, nor a more efficient Whig, than Moses H. Grinnell ; 
yet some of us who have borne "the heat and burden of the day" 
are entitled at least, one would think, to as good "a penny" as 
the eleventh-hour man. The tickets for Congress and Assembly 
went down admirably; the meeting swallowed Monroe and all 
without a wTy face. This is all right; this unanimity "gives 


token of a goodly day to-morrow." We must gain the victory 
now, and afterward try to get some of these little matters, which 
are out of joint at present, adjusted to the satisfaction of all 
good men and true. 

October 31. — "Who reads an American book?" 
LitTrature ^^^^ *^^ impertinent question of an English coxcomb. 
Somebody must have read Prescott's excellent " His- 
tory of Ferdinand and Isabella," with delight equal to my own, 
and also Stone's " Life of Brant," which I intend to read with 
equal pleasure one of these days. For of both these popular 
works three editions have been published, and the last edition of 
the latter was sold at an advance from that of the first of a 
dollar and a half, the original price of three dollars and a half 
having been found insufficient to leave a profit to the publisher. 
This is honourable to the taste of our reading public. They are 
not mere works of amusement, but standard histories, recording 
the events of days and of countries widely separated. 

November i. — ■Sly journal partakes unavoidably in 
Ejections ^ large degree of the subject which occupies and 
absorbs the minds of nine-tenths of all the folks one 
meets about these times. Election, Monroe ; abolition, Bradish ; 
nullification, Calhoun, — all other topics run into and are swal- 
lowed up by this troubled reservoir of party spirit and infuriated 
patriotism. What a happy country to be so well looked after 
by its citizens ! A man is almost considered tainted with treason 
toward the sovereign people who pretends to attend to his own 

November 2. — A great meeting of Whig merchants was held 
this day in Wall street, opposite the new Exchange. Benjamin 
Strong presided, with a number of vice-presidents. Spirited reso- 
lutions were adopted, condemning the measures of the Government, 
and inciting the merchants to union and exertion in the approach- 
ing election. But it was not required ; the spirit of the Whigs is 
raised to the highest pitch. The merchants have given freely, the 

330 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 58. 

workingmen are prepared for action, and the whole party well 
organized. Our hopes are high, and every man in the Whig ranks 
says to his neighbour, in the words of one of Oliver Cromwell's offi- 
cers, "Trust in the Lord, but keep your powder dry." 

I was appointed by the committee to open the meeting and read 
the resolutions. I spoke for. about twenty minutes, and then read 
the resolutions with all the voice I could command. But my posi- 
tion in the open air, with the large openings and broken masses 
behind me, made the task somewhat painful ; but I believe nobody 
could have been better heard, for my voice is strong, and I think I 
read very distinctly. 

The scene, from the elevation on which I was placed, was exceed- 
ingly picturesque. The immense mass of heads on the level street, 
the groups on blocks of granite and the irregular eminences of the 
unfinished edifice, the heads projecting from the windows, and the 
crowds on the stoops of the opposite side of Wall street, with the 
brightness of the weather, and the animated expression of every 
honest Whig face that beamed upon me while speaking, presented 
a coup d^ ceil snch. as no other occasion could have produced. After 
I finished, Mr. Perit addressed the meeting, when the question 
was put on adjournment, and the feelings of the people were 
so strongly and so agreeably excited that it was fairly voted 
down. They called for Hoffman : he was not there ; for Chandler 
Starr : he was out of town ; for me again : I had spoken ; for 
"Anybody, then!" shouted half-a-dozen voices. At length a 
popular orator, Mr. Reynolds, came forward, made a long speech, 
which nineteen out of twenty did not hear, and the meeting then 

November 6. — The Whig cause continues bright as ever. The 
greatest procession of Whigs that ever assembled paraded the 
streets last evening, after the returns from the wards had been re- 
ceived at head-quarters. They honoured me with a visit, and their 
fine band played several martial airs before the house. I regretted 
much that I was not at home to address them. 

iSjS.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. 33 1 

November 7. — The election closed this day at sun- 
^ '^ set, after the severest contest we have ever known. 

Success. ' 

The whole Whig ticket is elected. The ofificial returns 
are, of course, not complete ; but enough was known by eleven 
o'clock to make it certain that the Whig majority for the Congress 
ticket is about fifteen hundred, and the Assembly will not vary 
materially from that result. 

The greatest excitement prevailed during the evening. Masonic 
Hall was crammed full, and the street from Pearl to Duane street a 
solid mass of Whigs, anxious at first and exulting afterward, but 
orderly during the whole time. This election probably determines 
the question in this State, and Mr. Van Buren's chance of reelection 
may now be considered desperate. The good news of the election 
comes in from the North and West ; the river counties have turned 
out better than we calculated. Dutchess and Ulster have given the 
Whigs thundering majorities. We have, without doubt, secured a 
majority of members of Congress, and Seward and Bradish are 
elected by large majorities over Marcy and Tracy. There is one 
alloy to this triumph, however. Benjamin Silliman, in Kings 
county, and John A. King, in Queens, two of the best members in 
the last House of Assembly, have lost their elections, the former by 
one or two votes, and the latter by thirty-two. The notes of vic- 
tory were again sounded this evening before my house by the 
Whigs. I opened the window of the library, congratulated and 
thanked them, and they "went on their way rejoicing." 

November 13. — The dark clouds which covered the political 
and mercantile horizon at the commencement of the last volume 
of my journal, and overshadowed the future prospect of individ- 
uals, though not entirely dispelled, have been broken, insomuch 
that some bright rays of sunshine do occasionally burst forth, and 
men are encouraged to hope for clearer skies and better days to 

Business has revived. Debts from afar begin to come in with- 
out the sacrifice occasioned by ruinous exchanges. The English 

332 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.Etat. 58. 

and French creditors have succeeded in collecting their American 
debts much better than they expected. Mechanics find good em- 
ployment ; the suspended improvements of our city in private and 
public buildings have been in many cases resumed, and to all this 
may be added the glorious victory of the Whigs in the election 
which has just terminated in this State. The returns of the elec- 
tion are all in but one or two small counties, which will not mate- 
rially vary the result. We have lost two or three members of 
Congress and Assembly by very trifling majorities, so that we do 
not stand quite so well as was at first reported ; but we have Con- 
gress 21 to 19 and Assembly 80 to 48. Seward and Bradish are 
elected by ten thousand to eleven thousand majority. 

The only improvement in my private affairs is the increased 
facility I have found in borrowing money at a fair rate of interest 
on mortgage of my real estate, by which I have been enabled to 
pay a large proportion of the debts I assumed for my sons. But 
the collections come in very slowly, and I have no reasonable hope 
that the ultimate amount of my losses will be less than I calculated 
at first ; still I have great reason to be thankful. My health and 
spirits are good ; my family are all under my roof, in the enjoy- 
ment of health and happiness. My daughters are with us. Mary's 
health is improving daily. I stand as high, I hope, in the estima- 
tion of my fellow-citizens as I ever did, and with a firm trust in 
God all will yet be well. 

The city has been agitated to-day by reports of a 

rea e a - (jef^ic^tiQ^ in the accounts of the late collector of the 


port, Samuel Swartwout, to the amount of a million 
and a quarter of dollars. He has taken the public money and 
engaged with it in wild speculations of Texas lands, gold mines, 
and other humbugs, which have caused ruin for several years past 
to men of more means and greater judgment than Mr. Swartwout. 
A large proportion of this abstraction of the public funds took 
place during the first two years of his coUectorship, and the amount 
has been increasing ever since. How it was possible that so enor- 

iSjS.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 333 

mous a deficiency should never have been discovered until now is 
perfectly inconceivable ! It is a dreadful commentary upon the 
manner of conducting business at Washington, and it would appear 
impossible that there should not have been connivance on the part 
of some of the coordinate branches of the department, either there 
or here. This is a pretty illustration of Mr. Van I'juren's hopeful 
sub-treasury scheme, by which the collectors are made the deposi- 
taries of the public money. Banks are not to be trusted. The 
money must not be lent, upon the best securities in the world, to 
the merchants whose enterprise has earned, and whose integrity 
has paid it to the Government ; but such men as Mr. Swartwout may 
take it to speculate in land in the moon, or elsewhere not much 
nearer home, or in imaginary treasures which the teeming earth is 
supposed to hold within its womb, and as yet has refused to render 
up even to such skilful midwives as our late collector. 

President Jackson, on his accession to office, made a great fuss 
about public defaulters, prosecuted several petty offenders, whom 
he got imprisoned, and swore in his usual amiable manner that they 
should never be released, and at the same time appointed his per- 
sonal friends, who were notoriously irresponsible, to offices of the 
highest trust, whose claims consisted only in their unscrupulous 
devotion to him and his party ; and when a committee of Congress 
was raised to investigate the affairs of the treasury department, 
which investigation would have naturally led to the discovery of 
this and other similar frauds, he interposed between his servants 
and the representatives of the people, would not allow them to 
answer questions, and took upon himself the responsibility. 

The Hone Club dined yesterday with Moses H. Grinnell. We 
had Hoffman, Curtis, Wetmore, and other Whigs. There were 
more guests and more dinner than the law allows ; but I suppose it 
must be overlooked, in consideration of this being the first dinner 
which our friend has given since his election to Congress. 

I went this evening with the Schermerhorns to the farewell 
benefit of Mr. Charles Matthews, at the Park Theatre. It was a full 

334 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE.' [^tat. 58. 

house ; but he and his wife have not received the encouragement 
which foreign stars usually receive in this country, nor do I think 
as much as they deserved. They came out upon a long engage- 
ment, which their want of success has suddenly terminated, and 
they return disappointed, and ready (as in the case of Matthews's 
father) to abuse us for the want of a proper appreciation of 
their talents. 

November 15. — ■ Mr. Webster, having invited 
Visit to Messrs. Draper, Duer, Blatchford, and myself to dine 

Boston. i. J ' ' J 

with him in Boston, we prepared to go this day ; but the 
weather proving unfavorable I gave up all thought of going until 
I received a note from Draper ordering me on board the steam- 
boat at half-past four o'clock ; so I took an early dinner, and met 
Draper on board the " Narragansett " at that hour. Messrs. Duer 
and Blatchford being prevented from going, the party was reduced 
to Draper and myself. 

November 16, — Mr. Draper and I left New York in a north- 
east storm, arrived at Stonington at two in the morning, and came 
to Boston, by the railroad, at nine o'clock this morning. This is 
a most expeditious mode of travelling ; leaving New York at the 
close of one day and being in Boston, two hundred and forty miles 
away, at the commencement of the next. 

Mr. Webster called at the Tremont House as soon as we arrived 
and invited us to dine. He and I walked out. In the course 
of our walk we called upon Mr. H. G Otis and Colonel Perkins ; 
both these worthy old sons are laid up with the gout. We did 
not see the Colonel, and I afterward received a kind note from him, 
urging me to repeat my visit. Mr. Otis wants me to dine with 
him to-morrow, and in the evening he repeated his invitation in a 
note. Several other friends called and invited me , but the weather 
promises to be fine to-morrow, Mr. Draper must be at home on 
Sunday, so I shall not extend the flying visit to Boston beyond its 
original limits. 

We met a pleasant party at dinner at Mr. Webster's • Governor 


Everett ; Mr. Winthrop, the Speaker ; Governor Lincoln ; Mr. 
Ticknor, who has lately returned from Europe ; Mr. Fletcher 
Webster, of Illinois, and his pretty wife, who are on a visit to their 
father ; Messrs. Davis, Sturges, etc. We sat until eleven o'clock. 

November 17. — I received the usual kind calls this morning, 
and pressing invitations to dinner, and availed myself of a fine cold 
day to walk out and see the Boston lions and make some visits ; 
among the rest to Colonel Perkins, who lives en prince, and has a 
fine collection of pictures, to which he made many valuable addi- 
tions during his last visit to Europe. 

Arrival of ^^^^ YoRK, Nov. 1 9. — On Thursday last arrived 

the "Great the successful stcam-pa^kct "Great Western." She 
Western." galled from Bristol on the 2Sth of October; has had 
very hard weather and heavy winds. She has many passengers ; 
in the number are Mr. and Mrs. William H. Aspinwall, Mr. Will- 
iam Heyvvard and his family. Rev. Dr. Schroeder and his family, 
and my old acquaintance, Vincent Nolte. 

November 21. — In the ship "President," which 
ap am sailed yesterday for London, went passenger Captain 

Marryat, not any better pleased with the Americans 
than they with him. It would have been better for both parties if 
the sailor author had been known on this side of the Atlantic only 
by his writings. When he arrived in New York he brought me a 
letter of introduction. I called upon him, and he dined with us ; 
but neither I nor my family, nor the friends whom I invited to 
meet him, could discover in his conversation any of the talents 
which his works had taught us to expect, or in his deportment the 
ease and knowledge of the world which is frequently to be met in 
its pages. 

He is a good seaman without doubt, and has, somehow or other, 
the materials for writing good stories, and a style well calculated 
to give them popularity ; but he has evidently never enjoyed the 
benefits of refined society, or intercourse with people of literary 
talents. He is a sort of Basil Hall, without his impudence. 

336 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 58. 


The house at the corner of Wall and Hanover 
streets has been sold to the North American Trust and 
Banking Company, by Thomas E. Davis, for the enor- 
mous sum of $223,000 ; higher than anything which has yet been 
heard of. This building is somewhat notorious from its having been 
erected upon the site of one built by J. L. and S. Joseph, which, 
about the time it was completed, fell to the ground one night with 
a crash which shook all Wall street ; and its fall was the precursor 
of a much more tremendous crash in that celebrated street, com- 
mencing with the failure of the firm that erected it, and ending 
with the suspension of specie payments, and the bankruptcy of one- 
half of the merchants and traders of New York. 

November 22. — This gentleman has just been pub- 
Femmore Ushing two new works, "Homeward Bound" and 

Cooper. ° 

"Home as Found," which are reviewed, and the 
author most unmercifully scourged, in an able leading article of the 
" Courier and Enquirer " of this morning ; a more severe, and, 
I add, a better written, castigation was never inflicted upon an arro- 
gant, acrimonious writer than this. Mr. Cooper, spoiled at first by 
the kindness of his countrymen, and inflated by the praise of 
Europeans, who read his books without coming into personal con- 
tact with the writer, has returned to his own country full of 
malicious spleen against his countrymen, because, as I verily 
believe, he could not bully them into approving his dogmatical 
opinions, and liking his swaggering airs as well as the patriotic 
principles and unpretending deportment of his distinguished rival, 
Washington Irving. 

The works now published, of which copious extracts are made 
in the " Courier and Enquirer," represent everything in this 
country in the most disparaging light ; the misrepresentations are 
as gross, and the uncharitable temper as disgusting, as anything to 
be found in Basil Hall's, or Captain Hamilton's, or Mrs. Trollope's 
lying histories, and (what is more wonderful coming from such a 
quarter) the style of the works is puerile and the incidents ridicu- 


lous ; more worthy of the talents of a silly girl than of the matured 
genius of the author of "The Spy " and "The Pioneers." 

Nov'EMBER 23. — In the packet-ship "Siddons," which arrived 
yesterday, came passengers, Mr. William Brown and his lady, of 
Liverpool. Mr. Brown is the senior partner in the great house of 
William and James Brown & Co., of that place. They have, I pre- 
sume, come out to attend the wedding of their only son, who is to 
marry his cousin, the daughter of Mr. James Brown, of this city. 

Decemeer 5. — Congress met on Monday. The 
ee ingo Housc is SO nearly divided that it is not probable that 
the sub-treasury scheme, or any other of the Govern- 
ment abominations, can be carried through. The President's 
message was sent to Congress on Tuesday, at twelve o'clock, and, 
by an arrangement made by the post-ofifice with the railroad, 
reached the city of Jersey, two hundred and forty-five miles, at 
half-past ten o'clock last evening, and was delivered at our post- 
office. If this is not quick work, the deuce is in it, — twenty-three 
miles an hour, the whole distance, one-half of it after dark. 

The message is long enough, six newspaper columns closely 
printed. There is the usual quantity of humbug about the power 
of the sovereign people, although all the world knows that the 
writer and " his illustrious predecessor " have done more to crib 
this power from the dear people than any who went before them ; 
a plentiful use of such pretty, set phrases as "The anti- republican 
tendencies of associated wealth," "Vortex of reckless speculation," 
" Banks perverting the operations of the Government to their own 
puri^oses," and such unmeaning twaddle, whilst he knows in his 
heart and soul that he and his party in his own State have created 
all the banks here to subser\'e their political objects ever since 
they have had the ascendency, and now rail against them when 
their subserviency begins to fail. He does not say a word this 
time about the elections, nor does he seek to propitiate the 
"sober, second thoughts of the people," having found that to be 
"no go." 


December 6. — The anniversary dinner of the St. 
.t. . ic o as ]vjjcholas Society was held to-day, at the American 

Dinner. •' ^ ' 

Hotel. Mr. Cozzens gave as good a dinner as I ever 
sat dowii to ; all excellent, hot and well served, and the wines 
capital. There was the usual quantity of toasting and speaking. 
The President (Mr. Verplanck) made a long address, in the form 
of an annual report of the state of the society, in his quaint, amus- 
ing style. Dr. Francis, as physician-general, was very happy. I 
made a short address when called upon, and concluded with the 
following toast : New Yorkers, " at home " to all the world ; let 
them not forget that they are masters of the house. 

William M. Price, the United States Attorney for 
^"" ^^ this district, another of General Jackson's pets, and 

Defaulter. ' j tr j 

one of Mr. Van Buren's depositaries of the public 
money, "in spite" (as Mr. Cambreling said) "of the lamen- 
tations of the people," took himself off this morning " without 
beat of drum." His flight was not known until an hour or two 
after the departure of the British steamer " Liverpool," when Wall 
street was in an uproar on the receipt of the intelligence that this 
faithful steward of the Government was a passenger. 

These are the men who, for political services formerly rendered 
(and in the case of Price continued unblushingly to the last), were 
appointed to the two most responsible offices in the gift of the 
general Government, at a time when neither of them could have got 
the credit upon his personal responsibility for a hundred dollars. 
Here are some of the fruits of the corrupt, demoralizing system 
which originated with his country's curse, Andrew Jackson, and has 
been unscrupulously carried out by the puppet who thought it 
"honour enough to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious prede- 
cessor." Price was formerly a violent, brawling Federalist, and 
when he found he could get nothing by that he became a Demo- 
crat and Tammany man, more violent and brawling louder even 
than he did on the other side, but with better success. He became 
the Marat, the Danton of the party, the Anacharsis Clootz, the 


orator, not of the human race, but of the profligate race whose vigils 
were held at Tammany Hall and the several subordinate pandemo- 
niums of the respective wards ; supporting through thick and thin 
the pernicious measures of his master, and denouncing all honest 
men who dared to doubt their infallibility. A demagogue of the 
first rank, he was precisely the man they wanted. They knew 
their Price, and he knew his, and the unsuccessful Jacobin of the 
Federal party became the pampered minion of the Loco-focos. 

The city is in an uproar ; every hour brings fresh reports. This 
glorious election ! Well are we rewarded for time and money 
spent and services rendered in the good cause. The light of truth is 
now penetrating into the dark recesses of corruption. The spoilers 
will be condemned to disgorge the spoils which they have themselves 
"told us belong to the victors," and, if it be not too late, honest 
men may come to their rights and the Republic be saved. 

December 7. — The breaking up of the Loco-foco 
J! 7^ forces in different parts of the country produces every 

day some new development of party atrocity ; a ' state 
of things exists in Pennsylvania extremely alarming ; little short, 
indeed, of civil war. The return of the judges of the election 
for the county of Philadelphia being in favor of the Whig candi- 
dates, they, as well as those on the other side, appeared at 
Harrisburg on Tuesday last, at the organization of the Legis- 
lature, and claimed their seats as members of the House of 
Representatives. The Whigs, having the returns of a majority 
of the judges, were entitled to their seats until the house was 
organized to receive the protest of their opponents ; but this legal 
course of proceeding was opposed by the Van Buren men, and a 
scene occurred more outrageous than ever before witnessed in a 
country professing to be governed by written law and established 
rules. Both parties elected their own Speaker, and both proceeded 
to business in the same hall. Confusion and disorder reigned for a 
time, until brutal violence was resorted to and the hall was left in 
possession of the Loco-focos, supported by a mob of ruffians in 


the galleries. The whole was a scene hitherto paralleled only by 
the sittings of the National Assembly of France, or the Jacobin 
Club of Paris in the horrid days of anarchy and bloodshed which 
ushered in the Revolution and led to the destruction of everything 
*' good and lovely and of good report " in that devoted country. 
God grant that the same causes here may not produce the same 
results ! Virtuous men here begin to fear the worst. Now is the 
critical moment of our country's fate. If the Whigs continue to 
grow in numbers and remain firm in the good cause they may suc- 
ceed in subjecting the rabble of Loco-foco Jacobins to the power 
of the laws ; but if not, the time is close, very close, at hand, when 
this noble country of ours will be subject to all the horrors of civil 
war ; our republican institutions, theoretically so beautiful, but re- 
lying unfortunately too much upon the virtue and intelligence of 
the people, will be broken into pieces, and a suffering and abused 
nation will be compelled to submit to the degrading alternative of 
Jacobin misrule or the tyranny of a Caesar, a Cromwell, or a Bona- 
parte. To return to Harrisburg : the mob having possession of the 
Representatives' hall next attacked the Senate, where the Whig ma- 
jority is so large that no dispute could possibly arise. That House 
attempted to meet in the afternoon, but the same scene was re- 
enacted there ; riot and confusion prevailed throughout. The presi- 
dent's chair was usurped by a demagogue named John McCahen, 
who addressed the ruffians around him, instigating them to violence. 
The senators were assailed, beaten, dragged out, and driven from 
their seats. The accounts do not as yet inform us that any lives 
were lost. The Governor has issued his proclamation, calling out 
the troops, and general orders are published in the Pennsylvania 
papers for troops to assemble and march from other parts of the 
State to Harrisburg, the seat of war. 

The times are out of joint. The United States are surrounded 
by difficulties and dangers requiring a strong arm and a better 
head and purer political morality than are ever to be found in a 
mere party manager and popular demagogue. The dishonest 


servants of a corrupt administration running away with the 
people's money ; the halls of Legislature invaded in a neighbour- 
ing state by a ruthless faction, and the laws of the Commonwealth 
openly set at defiance ; abolitionism fomented by fanaticism on 
one side, and restricted by pride on the other; our misguided 
citizens meddling with other people's concerns on the northern 
frontier, and running their foolish heads into Canadian halters, 
and sympathizing on the southern with a band of reckless buc- 
caneers whose brotherhood would lead to endless strife and ulti- 
mate disunion ; the treasure and blood of the republic expended 
and spilt in an Indian warfare in tenfold quantities, to remedy 
the bad management of our rulers ; character, talents, and moral 
worth rendered of no account in competition with the claims of 
political services, — from the effect of all these evils " Good Lord, 
deliver us ! " 

Deceiviber 8. — The Legislature of the State of 
ec ion o ]\iissouri did themselves the distinndshcd honour, on the 

iJenton. "^ ' 

2 1 St of last month, to elect that prince of humbugs 
and enlightener of the Loco-focos, Mr. T. H. Benton, senator of 
the United States for six mortal years more. 

The Baptist meeting-house at Reading, Conn., was 
Violence""" blown Up by guupowdcr on the night of the 28th 
of last month. A man named Colver, an abolition 
lecturer, had been holding forth in the church, and was to lecture 
again, when a fanatic on the other side of the question placed 
a keg of powder under the pulpit, and blew the whole " sky 

We had to dine with us to-day Mr. Christopher 
". "^^.' ., Hughes, American chars^e at Stockholm, Col. Webb, 

pccted Visitor. o ' o > > 

Mr. William B. Astor, and Dr. Francis. Whilst we 
were at dinner there was a ring at the street door-bell. The 
boy Daniel went out, and found nobody there ; but there was 
a basket on the sill of the door, which he brought into the 
dining-room, and it was found to contain a lovely infant, ap- 

342 THE DIA'RY of PIIILIP hone. [/Etat.58. 

parently about a week old, stowed away nicely in soft cotton. 
It had on a clean worked muslin frock, lace cap, its under-clothes 
new and perfectly clean, a locket on the neck which opened with 
a si)ring and contained a lock of dark hair; the whole covered 
nicely with a piece of new flannel, and a label was pinned on the 
breast on which w^as written, in a female hand, Alfred G. Douglas. 
It was one of the sweetest babies I ever saw ; apparently healthy. 
It did not cry during the time we had it, but laid in a placid, 
dozing state, and occasionally, on the approach of the light, 
opened its little, sparkling eyes, and seemed satisfied with the 
company into which it had been so strangely introduced. Poor 
little innocent, — abandoned by its natural protector, and thrown 
at its entrance into life upon the sympathy of a selfish world, to be 
exposed, if it should live, to the sneers and taunts of uncharitable 
legitimacy ! How often in his future life may the bitter wish 
swell in his heart and rise to his lips, that those eyes which now 
opened so mildly upon me whilst I was gazing upon his innocent 
face had been forever closed. IMy feelings were strongly inter- 
ested, and I felt inclined at first to take in and cherish the little 
stranger ; but this was strongly opposed by the company, who 
urged, very properly, that in that case I would have twenty more 
such outlets to my benevolence. I reflected, moreover, that if 
the little urchin should turn out bad, he would prove a trouble- 
some inmate ; and if intelligent and good, by the time he became 
an object of my affection the rightful owners might come and 
take him away. So John Stotes was summoned, and sent off 
with the little wanderer to the almshouse. 

The group in the kitchen which surrounded the basket, before 
John took it away, would have furnished a capital subject for a 
painter. There was the elegant diplomat, the inquisitive doctor, 
the bluff editor, and the calculating millionnaire ; my wife and 
daughters, standing like the daughters of Pharoah over the 
infant Moses in the bulrushes, — all interested, but differently 
affected, the maids shoving forward to get a last peep ; little 


Emily, the black cook, ever and anon showing her white teeth ; 
James and Dannie in the background, wondering that so great a 
fuss should be made about so small a matter ; and John, wrapped 
up in his characteristically neat overcoat, waiting, with all the 
dignified composure which marks his demeanor, to receive his 
interesting charge and convey it to its destination. 

December 12. — The troops from Philadelphia, 
enns} vania ^j^^gj. ^.j^g Command of General Patterson, having 

Rebellion. ' ° 

arrived at Harrisburg, something like order has been 
restored, and the two houses of the Legislature have met daily, not 
in their usual place of meeting, nor for the despatch of business, but 
for the purpose of adjourning legally. Commodore Elliott has also 
arrived, with other officers, under the authority of the general Gov- 
ernment, to command the United States forces at Carlisle. These 
measures may keep the insurrection under whilst the troops are 
present 3 but the flame appears to be only smothered, to break out 
whenever they are withdrawn. Charles J. Ingersoll, the author of all 
the mischief, and other leaders must be hanged to restore order. 

December 14. — Hospital in the morning, Savings-bank in 
the afternoon, and, afterward, dinner at j\Ir. Abraham Schermer- 
horn's. I did not, of course, arrive at my last post of duty 
until an hour after the time I was invited for dinner, but quite 
in time for all beneficial purposes. I noticed a fact at the 
dinner table to-day, which proves the increased intercourse 
between the people of the United States and Europe. Of a 
party of twenty seated at the table every person has been to 
Europe, although of the number only two, Mr. Schmidt and 
Mr. Maitland, were foreigners. When I first dined out frequently, 
that distinguished class of learned pundits who had been " abroad," 
as the term then was, was so small, that if we had one native who 
had enjoyed that high privilege in a dinner-party he was looked 
up to with profound respect and deference ; " a rare bird, and 
somewhat like a black swan." Now the streams of accumulated 
knowledge may be obtained at innumerable fountains : the families 

344 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [yEtat. 58. 

of Abraham Schermerhorn, of James J. Jones, of T. L. Gibbes, of 
Nathaniel Prime do pour forth streams of intellectuality (I wish I 
had the wheelbarrow which Dr. Francis alluded to at the St. 
Nicholas Dinner, to carry this long word) sufficient to assuage the 
thirst of the most ardent and untravelled seeker of knowledge. 

December 15. — A Loco-foco member of Congress, 
Congressional ^^^^ Maine, named Atherton, brought into the House 

Proceedings. ' ^ o 

of Representatives, on Tuesday last, certain resolutions 
on the subject of slavery, declaring that the subject was not to be 
touched, that no petitions should be received, and that Congress 
had no right to meddle with slavery in the District of Columbia. 
This political tool was instigated to this measure by his brother 
Locos of the South, who were, no doubt, pledged to uphold him 
in his subsequent course. The resolutions may or may not have 
been proper ; that is not the question ; but the outrageous impu- 
dence of the fellow, and the profligate support which it received 
from his unprincipled party, were evinced in his speaking for 
nearly an hour in support of his resolutions, and concluding by 
moving the previous question, thereby precluding all reply, and 
forcing the dose down the reluctant throats of men of all political 
parties. And to the disgrace of the House, and the mortification 
of all honourable men, the motion was carried and the resolutions 
adopted without a word of comment (even to the phraseology, 
which John P. Kennedy said was so ungrammatical that his 
stomach, which had been to school, could not swallow it), except 
those which the mover had used in their flivor, which it is pre- 
sumed he thought unanswerable, and therefore determined should 
remain unanswered. 

I do not recollect that this precise case has ever occurred before. 
Its unblushing impudence is absolutely amusing. But I would ask 
the southern gentleman from Maine, whether some of his sagacious 
constituents down east may not consider it a sort of acknowledg- 
ment of weakness, and dread of consequences a little similar to 
that of the school-boy, who, coming behind his companion, hits 

183S.] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 345 

him a punk on the back, and then takes to his heels for fear of 
the counter-punk. 

December 17. — Mrs. Brevoort opened her splendid 
"^rt' p' house on Saturday evening to a large jjarty. I went 
with my daughter. It was a grand affair ; there is not 
a house in the city so well calculated to entertain such an assem- 
blage ; five large rooms open on one floor, and a spacious hall 
besides, with a noble staircase. This is the first time all this has 
been shown to the bon-ton, and the capriciousness of the master and 
mistress is so great that it may remain a sealed book for half a 
dozen years, unless the present freak should continue. 

The " Utica " brings the intelligence of the death of Mrs. Eliza 
Rumpff, wife of Vincent Rumpff, minister resident at Paris from the 
Hanse towns, and daughter of Mr. John Jacob Astor, She died at her 
residence in Switzerland, near Geneva, This lady leaves no children. 
There are, therefore, but three children to inherit the largest fortune 
in the State, — William B, Astor, Mrs. Langdon, and a son who is 
not likely to interfere with the claims of the others. If William lives 
to old age he will probably be richer than his father now is, 

December 25, — The club dined yesterday at ]\Ir. Crumby 's, 
Bond street. Of the members, Messrs, Grinnell and Duer were 
absent ; a good dinner, good singing, and plenty of wine. The 
following ode, which I wrote for the club, having been set to 
music by Mr. C. E. Horn, was sung, for the first time, by Major 
Tucker : — 


Our club, like a jury impanelled, we view. 
Composed of twelve freemen, all good men and true; 
We have hearts for our country, religion, and laws, 
And we find a true verdict in her holy cause. 

Answer, then, Mr. Foreman, are you all agreed? 
President : Agreed. 
Chorus : Agreed, agreed; we are all of one mind, 

For our country and freedom, our verdict we find. 

346 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 58. 


Will you stand by her commerce, unfettered and free? 
Shall the Star Spangled Banner still float on each sea? 
Shall mercantile faith a just recompense claim, 
Protection at home, and abroad a good name? 
How answer you then? Are you all agreed? 
President: Agreed. 
Chorus ; Agreed, agreed; we are all of one mind, 

To stand by the merchants, our verdict we find. 


In the cause now before you, the plaintiffs appear, 
Good order, and Reason, and Union are here; 
'Gainst corruption and power they plead their own cause, 
Relying on Truth, Constitution, and Laws; 

Shall the good cause prevail? Are you all agreed? 
President : Agreed. 
Chorus : Agreed, agreed; we are all of one mind, 

In support of the good cause, our verdict we find, . 


Shall Truth, Love, and Friendship our club still unite. 
And the cares of the day ne'er extend to the night? 
Shall innocent mirth and good-humour abound, 
And our bosom beat high as each Monday comes 'round? 
Gentlemen of the jury, are you all agreed? 
President: Agreed. 
Chorus . Agreed, agreed; we are all of one mind. 

For Truth, Love, and Friendship, our verdict we find. 


Shall our bumpers be quaffed as the wine sparkles bright, , 
And the talesmen join who are with us to-night? 
Our hearts warmed by friendship, the toast shall it pass, 
*' May temperance fill, and joy empty, the glass " ? 
In this honest toast you are surely agreed? 
President: Agreed. 
Chorus : Agreed, agreed; we are all of one mind, 

For temperate enjoyment, our verdict we find. 

1839-] THE DIARY OF nilLII' HONE. 347 


TANUARY I. — The year 1839 commences under more favour- 
*^ able auspices. The commerce of the country is much im- 
proved ; such of the merchants as have been only sadly bent are 
considerably straightened ; the broken ones remain broken ; for 
myself, although not a merchant, I have been a severe sufferer 
as surety for others. There is an awful change in my circum- 
stances, which can never be repaired. I have lost two-thirds of 
my fortune, and I have only to call to my aid philosophy and resig- 
nation, and to be thankful for the blessings I still enjoy. It is a 
consolation that as yet I have met all my obligations honourably, 
and have no reason to fear my ability to continue to do so. My 
children shall inherit a good name from their father ; they must 
make the most of it, for I greatly fear it will be their only inher- 

In a political view matters have improved during the last year. 
The elections, in the aggregate, have been favourable to the Whig 
cause. Parties in the present House of Representatives are 
equally balanced. The next will have a majority of Whigs, without 
any reasonable doubt. In the State of New York we have a Whig 
Governor, and a majority of about forty in the House of Assembly ; 
but, unfortunately, we are in a minority in the Senate : that, too, 
we shall correct in the fall election. The city for the first time in 
many years will be represented in the next Congress by four 
Whigs, and the ]\Iayor and a majority in both branches of the 
Common Council are on the same side. On the whole, we may 

" A requiem for thirty-eight, 
And a health to thirty-nine." 

January 7. — The club dined at Mr. Russell's, Messrs. Duer and 
Colt absent. We had, among the supernumeraries, Mr. Webster, 

348 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HOXE. [.Etat. 59. 

who is here on his way to Washington. He was in exuberant 
spirits, and more agreeable than I have seen him on any former 
occasion. We sat until eleven o'clock, and broke up after a grand 
chorus of "Auld Lang Syne." 

January 28. — I heard a capital sermon yesterday 
AicVickar rnoming in Trinity Church, from Professor McVickar, 
of Columbia College. He does not often treat us ; but 
when he does, it is a treat indeed. He comes with a sermon well 
prepared, logical, learned, of the purest English, and a style sur- 
passingly beautiful. His voice is bad, and it causes a little pain to 
listen so closely as is necessary for one who, like myself, has not 
the sharpest ears in the world, in order that no part should be lost 
of that which is so well worth hearing. 

Take this gentleman for " all in all," he is the loveli- 
' est man I ever knew, and I consider the intimacy which 

exists between us one of the greatest privileges and 
highest honours I enjoy. He has " dropt in " frequently of late to 
see us ; last evening he sat about an hour, cheerful, playful, and 
instructive ; such a mixture of learning and simplicity ; a head so 
sound and a heart so light ; a conscience free from reproach, and 
an imagination poetical as that of a youthful lover ! And this 
man is seventy-five years of age. So much for good habits, early 
assumed and never departed from ; industry, sobriety, a course of 
life void of offence before God and man ; an enthusiastic love of 
literature and an habitual aversion to debt, that fell disturber of 
the happiness of professional men. Such is James Kent. May he 
live as long as this world and those "which it inherit " shall con- 
tinue pleasant to him ! As for myself, " I wish that Heaven had 
made vie such a man." 

This excellent man, the contemporary and friend of 
tep en an james Kent, I now mention on this page, not to record 

Rensselaer. -' ' r fa > 

his living virtues, but to mourn his decease. He died 
on Saturday last, at his home in Albany, suddenly, whilst seated at 
the dinner-table. General Van Rensselaer has been better known 


by the familiar and affectionate title of "The Patroon," — a Dutch 
word to express "The lord of the manor," from his extensive patri- 
monial estates. He has held many important civil and military 
offices. He was a Federalist of " the old school," and the candi- 
date of that party on more than one occasion for the office of gov- 
ernor. Few men were more extensively known and beloved. Of 
gentlemanly manners, one of " the Lord's noblemen," of an amiable 
disposition, great benevolence, and active public spirit. His ability 
to do good, which from his great wealth was greater than that of 
most of his fellow-citizens, was never sparingly exerted for the ben- 
efit of his fellow- men, nor for the promotion of the public works 
of the State. He was closely identified with the great Canal S\'5- 
tem, and an early and active coadjutor of DeWitt Clinton in the 
great work which immortalized him. 

J.'VNUARY 29. — My wife and I dined with Mr. and IVIrs. T. W. 
Ludlow ; the party consisted of ]Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Ogden, 
INIr. and Mrs. Abraham Schermerhorn, Mr. and Mrs. Archibald 
Oracle, Oeneral and Miss Tallmadge, Mr. Oabriel Shaw, Mr. 
William H. Harrison, and ourselves. 

March 18. — We had an uncommonly ])leasant 
Hone Club. dinner of the club at Blatchford's, — gay, jovial, and 

somewhat noisy. This was caused by the presence of 
several distinguished and agreeable guests : Mr. Webster, Mr. 
Southard, Mr, Meredith, Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Curtis, Mr. John A. 
King, and ]Mr. Young. We sat until to-morrow was near at hand. 
March 22. — The rumors of war on the north- 
Hard Times, eastern boundary, — burn the pine logs which have set 

it a-going, — together with the bank difficulties in the 
Southern and Western States, occasioned by a premature resump- 
tion of specie payments, have caused another panic in New York. 
The blossoms of hope which had spnmg up in the brief sunshine 
of confidence are again blighted by the frost of suspicion. The 
pockets of rich men which had opened a little are now closely 
buttoned up, and " No trust " is once more the chilling maxim of 

350 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [/Etat. 59. 

commercial dealings. Stocks have fallen suddenly ; trade is at a 
stanilstill. New York cannot collect her debts, and the banks are 
looking to their own safety. In the mean time the markets are 
higher than ever. Beef and mutton sell at eighteen to twenty-five 
cents a pound, and how the poor man manages to get a dinner 
for his family passes my comprehension. Suppose we" succeed 
in turning out Van Buren and his scurvy pack, shall we be any 
better off ? Doubtful, very doubtful ! 

March 29. — I went, as usual, to church this morn- 
Good Friday, ing, and afterward into Wall street, where the din of 
business drowns the sound of the bell's invitation to 
worship, and the gravity of devotion is put out of countenance by 
the restless, anxious looks of speculative men of " this world." 
Good Friday was formerly kept with a considerable degree of 
solemnity. The banks and most of the shops were kept closed, 
and EpiscopaUans, especially, made it a point to abstain from 
business as strictly on that day as on the Sabbath ; but it is now 
scarcely observed at all. A few " church people " attend worship 
in the morning of the day, and usually hear an excellent sermon ; 
for if there be anything in the preacher, the sanctity of the 
occasion, and the touching service of the church for the day can- 
not fail to bring it ojit ; but as for the suspension of business, the 
high rents in Broadway and the deamess of the markets will not 
allow the shopkeepers to lose a day. 

March 30. — The monster no longer keeps guard 
'^■- ' "^ ^ at the mouth of his den. The spectre which for so 


long a time frighted old Jackson " from his propriety," 
and subsequently disturbed the slumbers of his successor, is " laid 
in the Red Sea ; " or, to speak more to the point, the undaunted 
opponent of arbitrary power, and the skilful regulator of currency 
and credit, has retired from the field of his triumph and his labours. 
The resignation of Mr. Biddle as a director and the president of the 
Bank of the United States is announced in the papers of this day. 
This event, unexpected here, and known only to a few friends in 


Philadelphia, took place yesterday, in an address to the directors. 
He puts his resignation upon the ground of a desire for retirement, 
the necessity for which is indicated by a delicate state of health, 
which may be attributed to most laborious exertions for twenty 
years past in the service of the bank. This is, no doubt, the true 
reason, although rumor has given out others, among which is the 
preposterous one of his being called by Mr. Van Buren to the head 
of the Treasury Department. A better appointment, certainly, could 
not be made ; but the President is not in the habit of doing magnani- 
mous deeds, and, besides, it would not work well for his political 
objects. His own party would find it somewhat difficult to justify the 
appointment of a man whom they have been taught by their mas- 
ters for the last eight years to decry and vilify at Tammany Hall, 
and all the outposts of the Loco-foco army of stipendiaries. Nor 
would he get credit with his political adversaries for honest inten ■ 
tions, or a desire to promote the public good. The public good ! 
Fudge ! What does it mean ? The term is often used for purposes 
of humbug, but its meaning is obsolete. 

The truth is, that Mr. Biddle is a good writer, and rather prone 
to trifle in the flowery paths of poetry ; and now that he has had 
glory enough as a financier, it is not unnatural that he should seek 
for literary distinction. Besides, he possesses a beautiful seat on the 
banks of the Delaware, where there is a miniature fac-simile of the 
monster's marble den in Chestnut street ; and he raises fine grapes, 
and gets a good price for them in the Philadelphia market, and has 
as good a right to enjoy otiiim cum dignitafe as anybody I know. 

April 5 . — Died on Tuesday last, at Wilmington, Delaware, 
Hezekiah Niles, the conductor of " Niles' Register " (the best 
statistical publication and record of national events in this coun- 
try), and the f^ither of the "American System." His name stood 
high on the A?/-/^ of private worth and public service. 

April 8. — Attended the monthly meeting of the vestry of 
Trinity Church. An application from a committee of the Histori- 
cal Society for the use of St. Paul's Church, in which to celebrate 

352 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.Etat. 59. 

the fiftieth anniversary of the Inauguration of Washington, was 
refused (improperly, I think). Preparations are making by the 
society to have a grand affair on this occasion, on the 30th. Mr. 
John Quincy Adams has consented to deUver the oration. 

April 1=;. — The arrival of this packet has been 

Arrival of "^ ^ 

the "Great lookcd for with great anxiety. She sailed on March 
Western." 23^ and arrived at twelve o'clock last night, having 
encountered on her voyage an unchanging series of head-winds 
and severe gales. This is the longest voyage the "Great Western " 
has ever made ; but it proves, more than any other, the advantage 
of steam navigation. Captain Hoskin says that a sailing-vessel 
would not (with the wind and weather he has had) have been now 
more than three days on her way out. 

The Hone Club dined at Mr. Amory's. All the members were 
present except Mr. Duer, — gone to Europe. In the number of 
guests was Mr. Webster, jovial and agreeable as usual. I think it 
not by any means improbable that if a special minister should be 
appointed by the President, under the act of Congress, to go to 
England about the boundary question, Mr. Webster may be the 
man. He told me that the Governor of Maine, the members of 
Congress, and the Legislature of that State had united without 
regard to party in an application to that effect, and I am tolerably 
sure that he expects it. 

April 20. — Died last evening, at Jersey City, Colonel Aaron 
Ogden, aged eighty-three years. He was one of the noble band 
of revolutionary soldiers, which is now nearly extinct. A fine old 
American gentleman ; but, like many of his class, his latter years 
were sparingly cheered by the smiles of fortune, and he was com- 
pelled to rely upon the scanty emoluments of the office of collector 
of the port, without commerce, of the City of Jersey. 

April 23. — The frigate "Constitution," the fine old 

sides " "" bull-dog whosc bark was heard first in the late war, is 

now in our harbour, waiting to sail on a cruise, under 

command of Captain Claxton. She lies at anchor in the North 


river, off the Battery, in the tranquillity of strength. The " Mas- 
sachusetts " steamer, on her return yesterday from the excur- 
sion to Sandy Hook, passeil up the river close to her, and gave 
us an opportunity to see this noble arm of the naval power of 
the United States. 

I went this evening to the Artists' Supper of the 
Artists' National Academy, to which I was invited as an 


honorary member. This entertainment was given pre- 
paratory to the opening to-morrow of the spring exhibition. The 
number at table was about fifty, with the estimable president, Mr. 
Morse, at the head, who returned from Europe in the " Great 
Western," and myself in the post of honour, at his right hand. Our 
table was placed in the middle of the great exhibition-room, 
brilliantly lighted, and we were surrounded by the beautiful collec- 
tion of pictures, fresh from the easels of the accomplished artists, 
who were partaking of the double enjoyment of the banquet before 
them and the well-earned reputation derived from the successful 
result of their interesting labours. How insignificant, in comparison 
to these, would have been the most gorgeous array of costly mirrors, 
luxurious hangings, rich carpets, and golden ornaments ! These 
are, indeed, the precious products of an art the tendency of which 
is to refine the mind, enrich the imagination, and soften the heart 
of man. 

This will be one of the best exhibitions of the Academy. It is 
delightful to witness the improvement from year to year of the 
young artists, the result of study and practice under the instruction 
and from the fine classical models of the Academy ; and the older 
members grow richer and more mellow as their talents ripen into 

The school of Mount, the American Wilkie, appears to have 
attracted many aspirants after the honours of that class of subjects 
in which he excels, and they have produced several capital things. 
Foremost in the number stands two pictures by Mr. Edmonds, an 
amateur painter, — one representing the reading of a penny paper ; 

354 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 59. 

the other, " Commodore Trunnion " and " Tom Pipes," from 
" Roderick Random," both admirable ; indeed, I prefer the latter 
to a new picture of Mount's, " The Rabbit Trappers," which he 
has painted for Mr. Charles A. Davis. 

I am puzzled to know how Mr. Edmonds finds time, in the midst 
of his laborious occupation as cashier of the Leather Manufacturers' 
Bank, to devote himself to an art so foreign to his ordinary pur- 
suits, and how, under so great a disadvantage, he should have 
arrived at such proficiency. 

Death of Gen ApR[L 24. — Mr. Christopher Hughes has just heard 
erai Smith, of the death of his father-in-law. General Samuel 
of Baltimore, g^^j^j^^^ ^^ Baltimore, who died on Monday last, in the 
eighty-seventh year of his age. His death was remarkable, and 
such as every old man should desire. He had returned from riding, 
lay upon the sofa to refresh himself, and was found dead by a ser- 
vant who entered the room. 

General Smith was another of the old revolutionary officers, to 
whom the country owes so much, and pays so little. Happily, in 
his case no pecuniary aid was requisite ; he was a rich man. He 
signalized himself on several occasions during the war of the Revo- 
lution, and has been almost constantly since in public life ; for 
many years a representative of the State of Maryland in the Senate 
of the United States, frequently in the Legislature of that State, and 
at the time of his death Mayor of Baltimore, to which latter office 
he was elected (although an administration man, unopposed by the 
Whigs) for his gallant conduct on a recent occasion when the 
peace of the city was disturbed by one of those mobs to which 
Baltimore has unhappily been rather frequently exposed. 

April 25. — In the packet-ship " Siddons," which sailed to-day 
for Liverpool, went passengers, Mr. William Brown and wife, of 
Liverpool ; their son, Mr. Alexander Brown, and his wife, the daugh- 
ter of James Brown, of this city. These are all partners or ad- 
juncts of the great mercantile houses of William and James Brown 
& Co., of Liverpool, and Brown Brothers & Co., of New York. 


The visit of William Brown and his wife has been very pleasant. 
They have married their only son to his cousin, and thereby keep 
the cash from going out of the family. They have travelled a 
great deal in the United States, visiting last winter the Falls of 
Niagara, passed considerable time with their friends here and in 
Baltimore, and now return in a fine ship, at the most favourable 
season of the year ; and in twenty days probably the senior will 
again be engaged in making money, the junior in devising plans to 
spend it, and the ladies in telling their friends and neighbours " all 
about it." 

April 26. — General Scott has returned from his last excursion 
to the northern frontier, where he was sent to set matters to rights 
between the loafer royalists of Canada and the loafer patriots of 
the United States. I do not know how he has succeeded, for I 
was not at home when he did us the honour to call this morning. 
The girls saw him, and say he looks very well, considering the labour 
he has performed within the last two or three months, during which 
time he has been constantly employed in the public service, adding 
to his military reno\vn the blessings which await the " peace- 
maker." In the course of this severe tour of duty he has travelled 
(by land principally) forty-seven hundred miles. He is now 
" the observed of all observers ; " and who knows what he may 
be hereafter? 
^ , ^ . ^ April ^o. — The semi-centennial celebration of the 

Celebration of ^ 

the Historical Inauguration of Washington, which took place in this 
Society. ^j|.y ^j^ ^^ ^^^ q£ April, 1 789, was held this day, and 

went off triumphantly. I was one of the committee of arrange- 
ments, and, as the day approached, became extremely anxious and 
nervous, from an apprehension that sufficient interest had not been 
excited, and that the distinguished guests of the society from other 
States might witness a failure. But my fears were groundless. It 
could not have been better. 

The members of the society and invited guests assembled at the 
City Hotel, and walked in procession to the New Dutch Church, in 

356 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [/Etat. 59. 

Nassau street. The church was filled on our arrival, and hundreds 
could not obtain admission, seats having been reserved for the per- 
sons forming the procession. On the stage erected in front of the 
pulpit were seats for the orator ; for Mr. Stuyvesant, the president ; 
for myself, vice-president of the society ; and for Judge Davis, of 
Massachusetts ; Judges Thompson and Betts ; Rev. Drs. DeWitt, 
Knox, and Wainwright ; Governor Pennington, of New Jersey ; Mr. 
Southard and General Scott, The ceremony commenced with a 
prayer from Dr. Knox, one of the pastors of the church. Long, 
dull, and inappropriate, to which succeeded an ode, written for 
the occasion by Mr. Bryant, and sung by the choir of the church 
to the sublime tune of Old Hundred Psalm. The ode, in my 
judgment, is very so-so, considering it is the production of the 
crack poet of New York. 

Then came the oration, by the venerable ex-President of the 
United States, John Quincy Adams. It was in truth "well to be 
there." It does not often fall to the lot of any man to hear or 
read so masterly a production, eloquent in language, powerful in 
argument, refined in taste, glowing with patriotism, and fraught 
with instruction. The history of the formation of the government, 
of the desolate state of public affairs in the dreary interval between 
the termination of the war and the Declaration of Independence ; 
the violent and pertinacious opposition of the Anti- Federalists 
to the new Constitution ; and, finally, the glorious consummation 
of the principles of the Revolution and the establishment of 
liberty and peace by the adoption of the Constitution, the seal to 
which was affixed by the event we were celebrating. All this, 
together with some touching and interesting details of events 
attending the triumphal journey of Washington, his reception in 
this city, and the administering of the oath in front of the City 
Hall, — this day fifty years ago, — were given in a voice and man- 
ner eloquent and animated, but tremulous and feeble. The orator 
occupied a little more than two hours in reading it, and skipped 
over many leaves. I am much mistaken if, when it comes to be 


read, it does not prove to be one of the most able political papers 
known in this country. Broad, old-fashioned, federal doctrine, 
strongly laid down and stoutly supported, and proven to have been 
that on which alone the Government could be successfully formed 
and happily maintained. 

The ceremonies in the church were concluded by a tn:ly apos- 
tolic benediction from the Rev. Dr. Wainwright, delivered with all 
that fer\'our and devotional solemnity which characterizes my rever- 
end and estimable friend. 

Then came the tug-of-war. At five o'clock the sub- 
The Dinner, scribers to the dinner and the invited guests began to 
assemble at the City Hotel, and a few minutes before 
six the company were seated at the table. I had been dragged 
into this affair somewhat unwillingly, for I doubted if there was 
patriotic feeling enough in this busy, money-seeking, interested 
community to get up and carry through a thing of this sort, upon 
abstract principles of patriotism, without political excitement or 
present popular impulse. There was no danger about the cere- 
monies of the church. Admission cost nothing, and there would 
be naturally more or less curiosity to hear a gentleman whose 
talents all acknowledged, and whose public career has been marked, 
of late, with considerable eccentricity. There was no ground for 
apprehension on that subject. But the dinner — the dinner — there 
was the rub ; and after inviting some twenty distinguished guests, to 
have failed there and presented a beggarly account of empty seats 
would have been mortifying indeed. Impressed with these feel- 
ings I worked tolerably hard, toward the last, to avert *^he conse- 
quence I apprehended ; but my mind was never at ease until the 
hour of assembling, when I found that all was right. There was an 
assemblage of first-rate men, large as the saloon of the City Hotel 
could conveniently accommodate. There were three tables down 
the length of the room, each containing sixty-two places, all filled, 
besides the cross-table at the top, at which were seated the guests 
to the number of about eighteen. Mr. Stuy\'esant, the president, 

358 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.'Etat. 59. 

presided. I was the first vice-president, and Judge Betts and 
Charles King the others. 

The guests consisted of Mr. Adams ; Mr. Southard, United States 
senator from New Jersey ; Governor Pennington, of Massachusetts ; 
Rev. Mr. Day, of Connecticut ; the delegate of the Historical 
Society of Maine ; Judge Thompson, Supreme Court ; General 
Scott ; Commodore Claxton, commanding the frigate "Constitution," 
now in port ; Gen. Morgan Lewis ; Col. John Trumbull ; Rev. Dr. 
Wainwright, of the Episcopal Church ; Rev. Dr. DeWitt and Dr. 
Knox, of the Dutch Reformed Church ; Mr. Grenville Mellen ; 
Count Roenne, Prussian charge d'affaires ; President Duer, of 
Columbia College ; besides which there were present, as subscribers, 
all the city judges, many eminent lawyers, and distinguished lit- 
erary men. A strong choir, consisting of Mr. Charles E. Horn, his 
son, Mr. Sinclair, and Mr. Kyle, sang fine old glees, and occa- 
sionally a solo; and performed Non nobis, Domine, with great 
solemnity, immediately after Dr. Wainwright's eloquent benedic- 
tion. An ode was also recited by Mr. Mellen, which was written 
by him for the occasion. The hall was decorated by Stuart's fine 
portraits of the first five presidents, the property of Col. George 
Gibbs, and in front of the orchestra was suspended Pyne's original 
portrait of Washington, belonging to Mr. Brevoort. A transparent 
painting was placed behind the president's chair, representing the 
old Federal Hall, formerly at the head of Broad street, with the 
ceremony of the inauguration as it was then performed. This was 
covered with a curtain, and was exposed to view when, in the 
course of the proceedings, the first allusion was made to it. 

Mr. Adams replied to the third toast in a touching and eloquent 
speech. Commodore Claxton acknowledged the compliment to 
the Navy. Governor Pennington, Mr. Southard, Judge Davis, and 
several other gentlemen addressed the company. The address of 
Mr. Southard was particularly fine; its subject, the "Judiciary," to 
which important branch of the government the orator paid a 
deserved tribute of homage. 

1839] THE DIARV OF nilLIP HONE. 359 

After the regular toasts the president called upon me for a 
volunteer. I made a speech in allusion to the great events which 
occurred on the day we were celebrating within the gallery of 
the old Federal Hall, the view of which was directly in front of 
me, and read some extracts from an account of the proceedings, 
and from the speech which was then pronounced by Washington, all 
of which I had previously obtained from the " New York Gazette " 
of May I, 1789. I also took occasion to pass a compUment upon 
the veteran Governor Lewis, now present, who then, as Colonel 
Lewis, commanded the troops who escorted the President from 
his lodgings to the hall. I concluded my speech by the following 
toast, which was well received : " The old Federal Hall : it wit- 
nessed the greatest contract ever made in Wall street. It is our 
precious inheritance ; let us ever remember that we, also, have a 
covenant to perform." Thus ended brilliantly the day which I 
had anticipated with painful misgivings. 

May I. — May day is fine, pleasant weather, much to the com- 
fort of jaded wives and fretting husbands. There is a great deal 
of moving in the streets out of Broadway, in the upper part of the 
city, but less, I think, than usual amongst the tenants of good 
houses. But the pulling down of houses and stores in the lower 
parts is awful. Brickbats, rafters and slates are showering down 
in every direction. There is no safety on the sidewalks, and the 
head must be saved at the expense of soiling the boots. In Wall 
street, besides the great Exchange, which occupies with huge 
blocks of granite a few acres of the highway of merchants, there is 
the beautiful new Bank of the United States opposite, still obstruct- 
ing the walk. Besides which, four banks — the City, INIanhat- 
tan, Merchants', and Union — are in progress of destruction ; it 
looks like the ruins occasioned by an earthquake. The house on 
the corner of Broadway is undergoing alteration, which usurps the 
sidewalk. My poor, dear house, 235 Broadway, is coming down 
forthwith, and in a few weeks the home of my happy days will bo 
incontinently swept from the earth. Farther up, at the corner of 

360 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 59. 

Chambers street, a row of low buildings has been removed to make 
way for one of those mighty edifices called hotels, — eating, drink- 
ing, and lodging above and gay shops below ; and so all the way 
up ; the spirit of pulling down and building up is abroad. The 
whole of New York is rebuilt about once in ten years. 

May 3. — Dined with Mr. William H. Aspinwall, when I met 
the army and the navy, embodied in General Scott and Com- 
mander Claxton, myself observing a sort of amphibious neutrality 
between the two. 

May 6. — I went on Saturday evening to a meeting 
Kent Club. of the Kent Club, at David B. Ogden's. 

These have been pleasant reunions throughout the 
winter. The club consists of judges and lawyers, who meet and 
sup at each others' houses on Saturday evenings in succession ; 
distinguished strangers are invited, and a few laymen, in which last 
number it has been my good fortune to be frequently included. I 
have not always been able to attend when invited, but when I have, 
the conversation of these learned "luminaries of the law" has 
greatly instructed and delighted me. The evening is usually 
divided equally between wisdom and joviahty. Until ten o'clock 
they talk law and science and philosophy, and then the scene 
changes to the supper-table, where Blackstone gives place to Heid- 
sick, reports of champagne bottles are preferred to law reports, 
and the merits of oyster pates and charlotte-russe are alone 
summed up. 

New Church ^ Splendid church edifice has been erected in 
of the Broadway, opposite Waverly place, for the congrega- 

tion under the care of the Rev. ]\Ir. Dewey, — Unita- 
rians, who worshipped formerly in the church corner of Prince and 
Mercer streets, which was burnt down. The new church was 
dedicated on Thursday last, and there was service in it yesterday 
morning and evening. The congregation is very large, which, with 
a large number of persons of other denominations, attracted by 
the popularity of the preacher and the beauty of the edifice, occa- 

1839-] THE DIARY OF PIIILir HONE. 361 

sioned a crowd sufficient to fill the church and all the approaches 
to it. The building is of stone, with a noble square tower, which is 
conspicuous the whole length of Broadway. The interior is very 
fine, and the arrangement of the pews, the pulpit, and the choir 
novel and commodious. The walls are painted in fresco, giving a 
solemn religious aspect to this splendid temple, equalled by no 
other in the city. But, in fact, the architecture of the upper part 
of the city, both in private and public buildings, is so greatly im- 
proved, that the two extremes present an appearance as dissimilar 
as that of the old and the new towns of Edinburgh. 

May 14. — During my absence Governor Seward 
s^ward?"^ has been in town for two days, Thursday and Fri- 
day. He came to attend the anniversary meeting of 
the American Bible Society, where he made a speech. He did me 
the honour to call upon me. Blatchford says that, in speaking of 
me, he said I was one of the few men in New York to whom he 
was desirous to make the first visit. I was invited to meet him at 
dinner on Thursday, at Mr. Amory's. Neither the sport on Long 
Island nor the pleasure of my recent excursion was sufficient to 
compensate me for the loss I sustained in not meeting my good 
friend, the excellent Whig governor. 

May 15. — Loco-focoism triumphed yesterday in 
ommon ^j_^^ j-esult of their late unrighteous success. The new 

Council. ° 

mayor, Isaac L. Yarian, was sworn into office by his 
" illustrious predecessor," Aaron Clark, who appears to have per- 
formed the ceremony with an exceeding good grace. Whether 
the new functionary will "follow in his footsteps" is exceedingly 
doubtful. This, however, is not so bad, except so far as it indi- 
cates the downfall of good principles in the city government 
generally, for I think Mr. Yarian the best man of his party. He 
is an illiterate man, but honest and of a strong mind, and will 
discharge his duties well, if his party will let him. But he will 
be ashamed sometimes of the shoulders upon which he has 
ridden into office, and the disorderly proceedings of the mob in 

362 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [vEtat. 59. 

the common-council chamber, on the occasion of his inaugura- 
tion, must have given him an unpleasant foretaste of the charac- 
ters of his supporters. It was a shameful exhibition of riot and 
blackguardism. They rushed into the area of the chamber, 
usurped the places of the members, interrupted the proceedings, 
knocked down the officers, and even in the sacred presence of 
"old Hays" himself didn't "care a damn for Uncle Barnacle." 
The work of destruction and the distribution of the spoils is 
not ready, but the knife will be sharpened, and the rewards of 
faithful electioneering services prepared against the next meeting. 

May 20. — The Church of the Messiah is all the 
the°MeTsTah° f^^hion. The crowds which attend it on Sunday 
morning make our neighbourhood exceedingly gay. 
The ladies, in particular, pass by in great numbers, attracted by a 
handsome new church, and doctrines somewhat out of the regular 
track of Orthodoxy. Dr. Channing, the great apostle of Unitari- 
anism, preached in the morning. I promised my friend Grinnell, 
last evening at Hall's, to go and hear him ; but the church was 
filled at an early hour, to the exclusion of thousands. I went, 
however, to the evening service, and heard the regular pastor of 
the congregation. Dr. Dewey, who preaches very pretty moral 

May 30. — One hundred and sixty-one lots, being 
Sale of Lots, part of Henry Eckford's property on Seventh and 
Eighth avenues, and 2 2d, 23d, and 24th streets, 
were sold to-day at auction, at very high prices. The sale 
amounted to ^224,045, being an average of more than ^1,500 
a lot, and a large part of the property remains unsold. 

Among the maritime exploits with which these 
Iron steamer, adveuturous timcs abound, the arrival, on Wednesday 
last, of a little steam schooner, called the " Robert L. 
Stockton," from England, is one of the most remarkable. She 
sailed from Gravesend on the 13th of April. She is only ten 
feet wide and seventy feet long, and her burthen is thirty tons. 


She is built entirely of wrought sheet-iron, and intended as a 
towing vessel on the New Jersey canal. The commander is Cap- 
tain Crane. She performed her voyage in forty-six days, with no 
serious disaster except the loss of one seaman, v,-ho was washed 
off this little cockle-shell by one of the seas which were con- 
stantly sweeping her decks. Never, I presume, was the western 
ocean crossed in so small a craft. There was not room enough 
to lie straight nor to stand erect. This little vessel lies near the 
Eattery, and is visited by hundreds of curious persons, anxious to 
realize the possible truth of the nursery story about the " three 
men of Gotham" who " went to sea in a bowl." 
. . , ^ Tune i . — This most fortunate of all steamers ar- 

Arnval of •' 

the " Great lived here last night. She sailed from Bristol on her 
Western." regular day, the i8th of May, making her passage in 
thirteen days, — the shortest western passage ever yet accomplished. 
Captain Hoskin, whom I saw in Wall street this morning, says 
their voyage was delightful. One of our North-river steamboats 
could have made it in the same time, and as pleasantly. 

This seems to be incredible. I turn back a few leaves of this 
journal, and find there, that on the 2 2d day of April, just thirty-nine 
days ago, we accompanied the " Great Western " to sea. Four 
days previously Mr. Pontois dined with us, and this morning I 
shake hands with the captain, and have the account of the minis- 
ter's arrival. On my way to market this morning I met A\'allack. 
It is exactly six weeks since I saw him act at his farewell benefit, 
since which he has been to England, engaged performers, made 
all his arrangements for a theatrical campaign at the National 
Theatre, spent several days with his family, and here he is again, 
kissing the ends of his fingers to me in Broadway before nine 
o'clock. I knew he was a passenger on board the " Great 
Western," recognized him through the disguise of a new pair of 
moustaches, but in the realization of the whole thing I was in- 
clined to doubt the evidence of my senses. The steamer is full 
of passengers, — about one hundred and ten, — and in the number 

364 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.€tat. 59. 

are several of our friends and acquaintances : Mr. and Mrs. E. H. 
Pendleton, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Cruger, Mr. Thorn and his son 
Herman, John Van Buren, and George Parish. 

June 6. — The following gentlemen dined with us: Mr. Rob- 
ert Gilmor, Jonathan Meredith, Herman Thorn, Robert Ray, 
Henry Brevoort, and William H. Aspinwall. 

June 18. — I went out yesterday with my wife and daughter to 
dine with my old friends, the Lydigs, at West Farms, and had truly 
a delightful day. The beautiful grounds on the Bronx river are 
in fine order ; such a profusion of roses and other flowers I have 
scarcely ever seen. We had an excellent dinner : Lydig's fine old 
wine and abundance of delicious strawberries, with a welcome 
hearty as the one, and u;istinted as the other. Mr. and Mrs. 
Suydam, with some of their family, were of the party. Lydig and 
Suydam are both in indifferent health, and the latter dreadfully 
hipped, and prone to water-drinking. But our gossipings about old 
times, the good cheer and lovely scenery, set the old gentlemen on 
their legs for the time being, and both, I am persuaded, went to 
bed better than they have been for a twelvemonth. So much for the 
innocent enjoyments which this world, bad as we think it, affords. 
June 24, — The state of the markets in Europe for 
otton an ^j^^ ^^^^ great products of the South and West, as re- 
ported by the arrival of the " Great Western," has pro- 
duced a state of things in our commercial world of Wall street and 
elsewhere, disastrous and gloomy almost as that of the great crisis 
three years ago. Flour has fallen three dollars a barrel, and cotton 
has become a drug in the hands of the holders. The quantity on 
hand of both these great articles is unusually large, owing to the 
rapacity of the producers and the speculators, who, not satisfied 
with regular business and moderate profits, must try to get rich in 
a single year. Now many of the millers and cotton-planters are 
ruined, and their factors here have suffered severely. The natural 
consequence of all this is a recurrence of dreadfully hard times. 
The jobber cannot collect his debts nor sell his goods ; the capital- 


ist gripes his money with the hand of death ; confidence is again at 
an end. Stocks are low, and ordinary beef is selling from eighteen 
to twenty-one cents per pound. 

June 30. — Feeling a little in want of exercise, I crossed the 
Christopher-street ferry to Hoboken, this afternoon, walked on the 
beautiful bank to the Elysian Fields, and found a shady spot to 
smoke a cigar and read " Childe Harold." 

July 3. — Mr. Van Buren, agreeably to previous ar- 
Arrnrai o rangemcnt, arrived in New York on Tuesday. The party 
have made the most they could of this event. There was 
a great military parade. His arrival was anticipated by commit- 
tees who met him on the way. The Loco-foco corporation, united 
to the faithful of Tammany Hall, received him at Castle Garden. 
Mr. Edmonds, formerly of the Senate, an office-holder under the 
government, addressed him ; and his reply, confirming all the prin- 
ciples of the abominable sub- treasury project, was received with 
shouts by his partisans. The military parade was very imposing ; 
but, besides that, it does not appear that there was much to gratify 
his feelings, if he estimates at their true value the unbought atten- 
tions of gentlemen and honest men. 

July 9. — I called yesterday morning and paid my respects to 
the President, at his quarters in Washington Hall. He left this 
morning to visit \lx. Hunter at Westchester, Washington Irving and 
Governor Kemble on the North river, and after these and other visits 
to his friends, and an affectionate recognition of Kinderhook, the 
town that claims the honour of being his birthplace, he intends to 
pass a few weeks at Saratoga, where the faithful will, no doubt, be 
summoned to meet and render homage to him. During the Presi- 
dent's stay in New York he has visited most of the public places 
in the constant custody of a set of men who are not (unless he has 
greatly changed) the sort of folks he would have chosen for his 
associates ; but party politics, like poverty, bring men " acquainted 
with strange bedfellows." Moxie told me that he saw him the 
other evening at the Bowery Theatre, with Mr. and Mrs. Ming, a 


fellow called Riall, and a young lawyer who had been discharged 
from the office of Davis for dishonesty. The old Republicans either 
choose to stand aloof, or are not allowed by the Loco-foco rabble, 
who have gotten possession of his person, to approach too near, 
lest they might do something to lessen their own influence. As 
President of the United States he was entitled to, and would have 
received, the attentions of men of all parties ; but as he has avowed 
that his visit was intended for his own political friends, and has 
consigned himself to the care of the worst part of that clique, it is 
well to let them retain possession of him. " As he has baked, so 
let him brew." 

July 10. — My wife, my daughter, and I passed a delightful day 
at Gardiner G. Rowland's, at Flushing. Rowland's noble farm is 
in superb order. The teeming earth groans under the weight of 
the golden harvest, and the whole face of Nature smiles with the 
prospect of abundance which she is about dispensing to mankind. 
Oh, if the farmer would be satisfied with his crops, the merchant 
with regular gains, the fruit of moderate enterprise, and the profes- 
sional man with the exercise of his legitimate talents, and all of 
them keep clear of extravagant speculation, how much more happy 
and independent we should be ! 

July 16. — We are here located (as we Yankees 
ara oga have it) at the United States Rotel, and no watering- 

Springs. ' ^ o 

place in this or any other country can boast of a pleas- 
anter establishment, or one better conducted. We have a suite of 
two parlours and four bedrooms, in the delightful south wing. Sev- 
eral additional buildings have been erected since the last season, 
and the ground laid out in a well-mowed and well-rolled lawn, and 
clean gravel walks. A large club-house and two cottages, in an ex- 
ceedingly pretty style of architecture, add to the beauty of the 
grounds and the comfort of the visitors. On the whole, there has 
never been accommodation so good at Saratoga. 

The house is nearly full, but as yet not many of my intimate 
acquaintances have made their appearance. My excellent friend, 

i839.] THE DIARY OF rillLlP HONE. 367 

Mr. Bradish, the lieutenant-governor, left Saratoga this morning 
much to my regret. Governor Seward will, however, be here in a 
few days, and Mr. Clay is expected on his return from Quebec. 
With such auxiliaries the Whigs will hold up their heads " sky 
high, sky high, Mr. Speaker." The President was expected at the 
United States ; but it is said that he will go, on his arrival, to the 
Pavilion. We are not Loco-foco enough for him, or perhaps not 
genteel enough ; for it has been proved lately that he mingles with 
none but choice spirits, and holds communion only with Riall gen- 
tlemen. Apropos of puns : approaching a little knot in the drawing- 
room this evening, I overheard Mr. Mead saying, " If a man had 
five hundred wives, so and so." "What do you think," said St. 
Clair Clarke, " of a man with five hundred wives, Mr. Hone ? " 
"Why, I think," I replied, " he must be a haretn-scarem fellow." 

July 17. — The papers give a gloomy account of commercial 
affairs in New York, which is confirmed by the reports of our New 
York visitors. Business is dull, stocks low, and money scarce. 
All are looking with anxiety for the arrival of the great new 
steamer, the " British Queen," while none expect favourable news 
by her. As a set-off against all these evil influences, the accounts 
of the crops in every part of the country are extremely cheering ; 
people from all parts of the Union are here, and all agree that the 
prospects of great crops have in no former season been exceeded. 
The State of Michigan, which, two or three years ago, bought all the 
flour she used, will have this year a surplus for sale of a million and 
a half bushels of wheat. I do not know what political economists 
may say to this, but it does appear to me that good must come 
of it. 

July 19. — A ball this evening, but I do not think it was as 
pleasant as the hop on Wednesday evening. I officiated as mana- 
ger, with Colonel McAllister, Messrs. Wilson, Stockton, Tevis, etc. 
The balls are understood to require more dressing, and a greater 
degree of etiquette prevails, so that the young ladies do not engage 
in them with so great avidity as in the hops ; but, on the other 


hand, there are champagne, and ice-cream, and blancmange, whose 
agreeable presence is confined to the most dignified of these 

An extract from a St. Louis newspaper states that 
Buffaloes. the hunters had come in with twenty-four thousand 
buffalo-robes and a quantity of beaver, worth altogether 
$100,000. Twenty- four thousand buffaloes ! what a sublime idea 
for any man who has ever seen a buffalo or a drawing of one, 
or heard him described ; only imagine a drove of twenty- four 
thousand oxen — but the imagination cannot keep pace with the 
magnificent scale on which the works of nature are represented in 
the regions of the great West. I suppose that immense number 
of huge living animals would look on the prairies like a flock of 
sheep on Hempstead Plains. 

July 23. — The " Great Western " arrived at New York yester- 
day, having sailed from Bristol on the 6th. The movements of 
this fine vessel have gotten to be as regular as the rising and setting 
of the sun, or the flux and reflux of the tide. She brings intelli- 
gence quite as bad for the commercial world as was anticipated. 
Cotton has fallen, American stocks a drug, and the rate of bank 
interest five and a half per cent., and about to be raised to six. 
The United States of America, by the grace of God, free and inde- 
pendent as they vaunt themselves, have, by a course of extravagant 
speculations, aided by bad management of the government, and the 
indulgence of personal spite of " the Greatest and Best," brought 
themselves into a state of thraldom to their old masters nearly as 
great as that which existed previous to the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. All we undertake to do is predicated on the chance of 
borrowing money from John Bull. We try to borrow so much, that 
the credit even of the State stocks is impaired. Cotton, the only 
thing we have to pay with, is placed at the mercy of the creditors, 
and the Bank of England becomes the arbiter of the fate of the 
American merchant. All this comes from the rage for speculation 
here ; the desire to grow rich in a short time, which incites the 


growers of cotton and flour, instead of selling at a fair price the 
bounties of God's providence, to hoard them up. By and by 
comes " a frost, a killing frost," and then the planter loses the 
product of many years of regular cultivation, his factor is ruined 
by liberal advances, and every department of business suffers from 
the shock. 

July 24. — Every house is well filled. It is com- 
Saratoga. puted that there are two thousand visitors at the place 
at the present time. At Congress Hall and this house 
there are many distinguished men and fine women; antiquated 
belles of a by-gone generation, enjoying with gayety and cheerful- 
ness the scenes of their former triumphs ; fine married women and 
lovely girls, the ornaments of the present and the hopes of the 
future ; and men uniting as in one brilliant focus the talent, intelli- 
gence, and civic virtues of the various parts of the country. 

July 29. — The long-expected steam-packet, the 
e ri IS ^^ jjritish Queen," arrived in New York, on her first 

Queen." ^ ' ' 

voyage from Portsmouth, yesterday morning. One of 
her passengers came here this morning in the first train of cars. 
This is certainly doing business in great style. This gentleman left 
England only three days before we left home for this place, and 
what have I done in that time ? Events now pass like the shadows 
of a magic lantern. The "British Queen " sailed on the 12th. 
She is commanded by Captain Roberts, formerly of the " Sirius," 
the Columbus of steam, who first of British steam- men reached our 
shores. She is the largest steamer ever built, being of the follow- 
ing dimensions: Length from figure-head to taffrail, 275 feet; 
length of upper deck, 245 feet ; breadth within the paddle-boxes, 
40 feet 7 inches ; breadth including the boxes, 64 feet ; her engine 
is of 500-horse power; burthen, 2,016 tons. The "British 
Queen" arrived in New York on the 28th. Her log is published. 
She had head-winds all the way. Her greatest distance in one day 
was two hundred and forty miles ; the least, one hundred and thirty 


July 30. — Webb, of the "Courier and En- 
Mr. Webster, quirer," came passenger in the " British Queen." He 
went out in the " Great Western " on the 13th of June, 
and has been absent only forty-five days. Colonel Webb says that 
Mr. Webster is the greatest lion they have had in England, with 
the exception of Marshal Soult, since the visit of the allied sover- 
eigns. He has not breakfasted or dined at his lodgings since his 
arrival in London. A great public dinner is preparing for him in 
Liverpool, as the friend of commerce throughout the world. At 
this banquet, which is to be attended by great numbers of the 
nobility and gentry, it was expected that " the defender of the 
Constitution" would come out with his heaviest guns. 

July 31. — My daughter and I visited Her Majesty 
The " Britis ^^^ aftcmoon, where she is lying in state at the foot of 

Queen." ' jo 

Clinton street ; but God forbid that either she or her 
royal godmother should be defunct ; far from it, for such a scene of 
hfe, bustle, and animation in and about her is not often witnessed. 
This is only the third working day since her arrival, and she is 
preparing and will sail to-morrow in company with the " Great 
Western," which lies quietly alongside of her. It will be a trial of 
speed, and prodigious interest is excited in the result. The friends 
of both are sanguine of success, and the death-like dulness of Wall 
street is somewhat relieved by the betting on the race. 

We were admitted on board, although the wharf was filled with 
persons who were excluded, and we saw every part of this levia- 
than of steam. Her cabin is superbly fitted up, and the staterooms 
adjoining it are convenient and pleasant as possible ; but the sleep- 
ing apartments below are dark and confined, and I doubt whether 
the whole amount of good sleeping accommodations is equal to 
that of the " Great Western." The scene on deck was a "perfect 
show : " discharging in one place and receiving and stowing cargo 
in another ; boxes and barrels of stores ; cart-loads of fresh meat ; 
great lumps of ice, and George Haws, with his pleasant, red face, 
reeking with perspiration, employed in stowing it away ; mountains 

1839] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 371 

of coal sinking into the crater of the lower hol;l ; live cows and 
poultry wondering what part of the pandemonium is intended for 
them ; sentinels employed in the unthankful office of keeping back 
disappointed visitors ; and officers more agreeably engaged in 
doing the gcntccl thing by our more favoured selves. 

^^'hcn the committee of glorification were making 
ovcrnor arrangements to receive the President as the chief of 

beware. " 

their party, a note was addressed to Governor Seward at 
Albany, to come to New York and join the procession. This he 
declined in a letter, which the Loco-focos stigmatized as insulting 
and disrespectful, but which they refused to publish, although 
urged by the Whigs to do so. Their taunts all proving unavailing, 
the Young Men's General Committee applied formally to the Gov- 
ernor for a copy of the correspondence, which he furnished, and 
which is now published. The letter is long, and my time is insuffi- 
cient to copy it, as I would wish ; but it is admirable. The Whigs 
have reason to be proud of their man. I never read anything 
more "germane to the matter." Soft as silk, but cutting as a 
razor ; manly in sentiment, but courteous in manner, — it is no 
wonder they refused to let it see the light. I am proud of the 
noble little Whig governor, and feel honoured in being allowed 
to call him friend. 

August i. — The " Great Western " and the " Brit- 
ai in^ o t e j^j^ Qucen " Went to sea this morning, as well as the 

Steamships. ^ °' 

packets for London, Liverpool, and Havre, all filled 
with passengers. The crowds which lined the wharves and the 
Battery were greater than on any former similar occasion. I went 
to Castle Garden to see the two noble steamships ; but as I could 
not see through my countrymen, and more particularly country- 
women, I had an imperfect view. The " Great Western " 
preceded the " British Queen " about an hour. The weather was 
very fine, and tlie water as well as the shores presented a lively and 
animated scene. Giving the " Queen " sixteen days' passage, she 
will have mad^ her voyage out and home to Portsmouth in thirty- 

3/2 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etat. 59. 

six days, l^ringing out nearly two hundred passengers and returning 
with one hundred, discharging one cargo and taking on board 
another. Go ahead ! is the impulse which now governs the 

AuGUSi' 2. — The times are worse than ever. Wall street is in 
a state of consternation ; money uncome-at-able and confidence at 
an end. A national bank is the only remedy (if, indeed, things 
have not gone too far). That, with a change of the administration, 
are the only straws we have to catch at. Let us try them, unless 
the people are determined to complete the ruin which hangs over 
them. If they are, so be it ! 

Saratoga. — In the number of arrivals during my 
The President, absence is the President of the United States, and Mr. 
Secretary Forsyth, with Mr. Edward P. Livingston and 
a few others of the faithful. The President was met some distance 
from the village by a cavalcade, and followed to his quarters in the 
United States Hotel by a motley group. The Whigs say it was a 
slim concern, and the Locos say otherwise. But here he is, con- 
ducting himself with his usual politeness, and making the best of 
everything, as he is wont to do. I called upon him yesterday, 
immediately after my arrival, and was most graciously received. 
He hoped I would pass an occasional spare half-hour in his 
apartment. He has been civil to my wife, and sends his bottle to 
her and me to drink with him at dinner. I have studied to treat 
him with all the respect due to his high station, and the regard I 
feel for an old friend, and I acknowledge the kindness with which 
my advances have been received. This conduct has been pursued 
by most of the gentlemen, political opponents as well as political 
adherents ; but there has been one exception, on the part of a 
lady, which, in my judgment, was equally at variance with good 
taste and proper feeling. 

August 6, — The President takes the head of one of the tables, 
and the modest Mr. Bennett, of the " Herald," the other. The 
President cannot help this, to be sure, and the juxtaposition is 

1839] THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. 373 

somewhat awkward. Bennett will make a great thing of this with 
those who are not aware that any person may take this seat who 
has impudence enough, and that it would require a pretty smart 
rifle to carry a ball from one end of the table to another. I wish 
the President would leav^e his seat, and give the " Herald " man 
all the honours of the table. 

August 7. — The village is alive w-ith preparations 
Mr. Clay. for Mr. Clay's reception. I received a letter from 
him, dated Montreal, 4th inst., and another by a 
messenger who was sent hence to confer with him, dated on his 
voyage to Burlington, 6th inst. He is to lodge at Lake George 
to-morrow night, and will come to Saratoga on Friday afternoon, 
where apartments are provided for him at the United States Hotel. 
A programme of his reception is published, signed by a committee 
of more than one hundred Whigs. We wished to repress this 
public demonstration, but it could not be. The movement is 
spontaneous, and the people seem to be determined to out-glorify 
the other party. 

The Whig visitors at Congress Hall have been in a ferment 
about the impropriety of bringing Mr. Clay in contact with his 
great rival at the United States Hotel. Conferences have been 
had and disputes held on the subject ; but the difficulty is removed 
by the President's determination to leave Saratoga on Friday. He 
is to dine with the young Loco-focos at Ballston, and go to Troy, to 
be received there by his friends on the same evening, and will not 
return until the first of next week. This may be accidental ; but it 
is a happy coincidence for us, and I am mistaken if we do not 
model something handsome out of this Clay. 

August 9. — The day was ushered in by clouds and 
^J^ rain, thunder and lightning : but all passed awav, and 

Arrival. ' ^ a ? r 

the glorious sun shone out by eight o'clock and dis- 
persed the vapours from the natural, as we trust the man who comes 
among us will those from the political, horizon. 

Secretary Forsyth took away his discontented countenance last 

374 THE DIARY OF nilLIP HONE. [.Etat. 59. 

evening, and Secretary Poinsett went this morning to Cattaraugus 
on business relating to the Indian Treaty. The President also 
went back to Ballston, and thence to Troy. 

Arrangements having been made for a number of the visitors to 
meet Mr. Clay on his approach to Saratoga, a large number, on 
horseback and in carriages, left the village at eleven o'clock, and 
went to Emerson's Tavern, nine miles on the Glenn's Falls road. 
In less than half an hour he arrived, accompanied by committees 
from Caldwell and Glenn's Falls ; and after our salutations we sat 
down to a collation, prepared under direction of Colonel Westcott, 
and served up in rather homely, but hearty style. Provisions had 
been sent out in the morning from Saratoga, and champagne was 
taken by the gentlemen. The company, which consisted of seventy 
or eighty, comprised many bright spirits and distinguished men. I 
had the honour of presiding at the feast, and it is certain that we 
made the most of the time allowed us. 

At three o'clock we left Emerson's, and came to a place two 
miles in advance of the Springs, where the carriages, wagons, 
horsemen, and pedestrians who were to form the procession were 
collected to receive us. Mr. Clay was placed in a new barouche, 
drawn by Gerald Coster's four gray horses ; the other seats occu- 
pied by Judge Walton and two other gentlemen of the Saratoga 
committee on arrangements. The line of march was then taken 
up, preceded by Frank Johnson's band of music ; and such a cav- 
alcade was never seen before in the county of Saratoga. It formed 
a compact line a mile and a half long. I rode in a barouche with 
Dr. Duncan, of Mississippi, Mr. Green, of Louisiana, and Reverdy 
Johnson, of Baltimore. Our approach was announced by the dis- 
charge of artillery from the hills, and the line of march preserved 
until we came to the United States Hotel, where quarters were pre- 
pared for " the man whom the people delight to honour." Here 
the avenues to the hotel were blocked up with the expecting 
crowds, who made the village ring with shouts of welcome. The 
large piazza in front of the hotel was filled with ladies, for whose 

1S39.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP IIOXE. 375 

exclusive use it had been reserved. It had been arranged that the 
address should be made, and the reply received, from the steps of 
the hotel ; but this was rendered impracticable by the crowd, and 
the horses were taken out and the barouche dragged around in 
front. Here Mr, Clay was addressed by Mr. John W. Taylor, for- 
merly Speaker of the House of Representatives, and replied in a 
speech to the assembled multitude of more than an hour ; too 
long, I thought, for the occasion, and entering too much into polit- 
ical detail; but I suppose it was unavoidable. The towns- people 
had the regulation of this part of the ceremony, and they were not 
disposed to let the opportunity be lost to the people of hearing an 
account of the misdeeds of their rulers from the lips of the oracle of 
the day. After the address Mr. Clay was conducted, amidst the shouts 
of the men and the waving of the women's handkerchiefs, to his 
apartments, fatigued with travel and exhausted with excitement. 

But the affair did not end here ; the great dining-room of the 
United States Hotel had been fitted up during the day with bou- 
quets of flowers and festoons of evergreens, and in the evening the 
most splendid ball was given that was ever witnessed here ; eight 
hundred persons were present, comprising a greater number of 
distinguished men and fine women than have probably ever been 
collected in this country. 

I was the senior manager, and by previous arrangement, after 
the first set of cotillons, Mr. Clay and his son were led into the 
room by me and Mr. Meredith, the band playing " Hail Columbia," 
and the company opening to the right and left to afford us a pas- 
sage to the upper end of the room. It has been a day of prodigious 
excitement, and everything went off well. 

AuGusx 10. — The New York papers contain everyday an ac- 
count of increased commercial distress, affording a striking contrast 
to the gayety and extravagance of this place. More money has 
been spent here than in any former season, some of which, I have 
no doubt, belongs more justl}- to the pockets of creditors at home 
than of the hotel-keepers here. 

3/6 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [vEtat. 59. 

August 12. — This is the meridian of the Saratoga season. All 
the world is here : politicians and dandies ; cabinet ministers and 
ministers of the gospel ; office-holders and office-seekers ; hum- 
buggers and humbugged ; fortune-hunters and hunters of wood- 
cock ; anxious mothers and lovely daughters ; the ruddy cheek 
mantling with saucy health, and the flickering lamp almost extin- 
guished beneath the rude breath of dissipation. In a few days this 
brilliant company will be scattered over the face of the land, and 
who can tell for how many of them this will be the last season ? 

A little circle was formed this evening in the grand saloon, which 
occasioned much curious speculation. It consisted of the three 
prominent candidates for the next presidency : Mr. Van Buren, 
who returned this morning ; Mr. Clay ; and the gallant General 
Scott, whose star is rising fast. Each had fair ladies receiving their 
attentions, and many good-natured jokes were passed between them. 

New York, Aug. 21. — Our dinner to-day was interrupted by the 
great procession for the reception of Mr. Clay, which passed the house 
a little before five o'clock. Mr. Clay came down from Newburgh in 
the steamboat " James Madison," and by previous arrangement of 
the Whig committee was landed at the foot of Hammond street, 
whence he was escorted to Union place, and thence down Broad- 
way to the Astor House, by the greatest cavalcade I ever witnessed 
on such an occasion. All Broadway was filled with spectators ; 
from the windows handkerchiefs were waved, and shouts ascended 
from the crowds collected at the corners. We all left the dinner- 
table and went to the balcony in front of the house, whence we 
had a fine view. We received the salutations of Mr. Clay in 
passing, and I was further honoured by a salute from the band. In 
the barouche with Mr. Clay sat General Lynch, Dudley Selden, and 
General Van Courtlandt. On the arrival of the procession at the 
Park, and before Mr. Clay was taken to his lodgings, he was carried 
to the front of the City Hall, where he was addressed by Mr. Selden, 
and replied in a good speech of less than half an hour. In the 
evening he went to the Bowery Theatre, where he was received with 


new honour from other thousands. I went down after dinner with 
Gilmore and Meredith to the Astor House, which was filled like a 
market-place with people waiting for the return of the honoured 
guest from the theatre. 

Viewing this affair as a spontaneous expression of public opinion, 
accomplished with no expense and very little preparation, and un- 
accompanied by military parade, it exceeded anything of the kind 
we have ever witnessed, excepting the reception of Lafayette. It 
would seem to indicate that the patriotic senator must be the 
favourite candidate for the presidency of the Whigs hereabouts ; and 
I have no doubt that he is, and would stand a good chance of suc- 
cess, and the country be thereby saved from the further progress 
of ruin, were we not the most untractable, unreliable party which 
ever stood up against corruption and bad government. 

August 24. — Mr. Clay received visitors on Thurs- 
^'^' ^-^^ day, in the Governor's room, City Hall. After an in- 

Departure. ^ ' ' ■' 

effectual attempt to see him there (for the room was 
so crowded that not one in twenty who went could get admission) 
I called upon him at the Astor House, where I saw and conversed 
with him for a few minutes. The civilities of the New Yorkers 
have nearly annihilated him. He is hoarse and fatigued ; but he 
went, nevertheless, to the Park Theatre in the evening, where he was 
received, as usual, with great applause. 

August 26. — We are vagrants now on Sundays. 
Church ^ooT old Trinity being nearly razed to the ground, 

and a new church to be erected on the same spot, 
which will require two or three years to complete, we shall be 
compelled during that time to hire a pew in one of the up-town 
churches, or quarter upon our friends. 

When the committee of the vestry of Trinity Church began 
with the edifice, it was intended to repair and remodel the interior 
only, leaving the venerable exterior and the noble, dark-looking 
spire in their original integrity ; but in the progress of the work 
the building was found to be in such a state of decay as to be 

3/8 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [/Etat. 59. 

rendered irreparable, and the time-honoured temple of the Lord, 
the parish church of New York, the nucleus of Episcopacy, was 
doomed to destruction. I found, on my return to the city, a 
shapeless heap of ruins on the spot where my imperfect devotions 
have been performed for the last thirty-seven years. It occasions 
melancholy reflections to see the dark mass of ruins still overlook- 
ing the magnificent temples of mammon in Wall street, and to 
think of the changes which have occurred there during the time 
the venerable spire which is now removed has thrown its shadow 
over the place " where merchants most do congregate." 

May I not also see in this dilapidation a type of my own decay 
and speedily approaching removal ? When I first went to Trinity 
Church I was young, ardent and full of hopes, capable and indus- 
trious, and I should now be ungrateful not to acknowledge that in 
most cases my hopes were realized and my industry rewarded ; 
but the storms within the last three years have beaten upon me, 
the timbers are decayed, the spire no longer " like a tall bully lifts 
its head," and the vestry has no funds to rebuild me. 

August 31. — There has been great interest excited 
Slaver. ^^r Several days past about a mysterious " low, black- 

looking schooner," which was seen and spoken several 
times off Long Island, filled with pirates, as was said. This " flying 
Dutchman" was captured on Monday last, between Gardner's 
Island and Montauk Point, by Captain Gedney, in the United 
States surveying brig " Washington." She proves to be very much 
as reported. The schooner " Amistead," a Spanish vessel. She 
sailed from Havana bound to Guanaja, another port in Cuba, 
with fifty-four slaves belonging to Jose Ruiz, a passenger on board, 
who had bought them at Havana from a slaver just arrived from 
the coast of Africa, and was conveying them to his plantation. 

Pedro Montes, another passenger, had also four slaves. Four 
days after leaving Havana, the blacks rose upon the crew, mur- 
dered and threw overboard the captain and a mulatto cook, and 
compelled Montes (who had formerly commanded a vessel) to take 


the helm and steer easterly for their own country, under threats 
of being also murdered. This he did during the day, but at night 
altered his course, and kept upon the American coast, until on 
Monday last, whilst at anchor near Montauk, the blacks having 
gone ashore for water and provisions, the schooner was descried by 
the " Washington," boarded and taken possession of, the whites re- 
leased from their dreadful state of bondage, and the slaves captured. 
The vessel was taken into New London, and an examination held 
on board by Judge Judson, of the United States District Court. 
The schooner, with the remains of her cargo, which consisted of 
dry goods and other articles calculated for the use of a plantation, 
were taken possession of, and the slaves ordered for a trial at Hart- 
ford, on the I 7th of September. 

The ringleader in this revolt is a Congo negro, named Joseph 
Cinques, about twenty-six years of age, a fine, intelligent fellow, 
who would be exalted into a hero instead of a pirate and murderer 
if his colour was right, and he had been taken under other circum- 

I am afraid this affair will be attended with unpleasant conse- 
quences at this time, when the minds of men in this country are 
influenced by the question of abolition. These poor wretches were 
stolen from their homes, carried to a strange country, and sold to 
servitude, from which they sought to escape on 'the first occasion 
which offered. They committed murder, it is true ; but their situa- 
tion may have rendered it inevitable. They spared their owner, 
which would seem to prove that human blood was not their object. 
If these men are tried in Connecticut, and some condemned to 
death, Joseph particularly will be justified by one party, and his 
case will excite great sympathy. If, on the other hand, the revolt 
should be considered only as a measure of self-preservation, and 
the culprits escape punishment, it will be considered by the slave- 
holding ftinatics as a new proof of the enmity of the abolitionist 
fanatics ; so that either way it makes trouble. I wish they could all 
be sent back to Havana, and perhaps it may take that course. 

380 THE DIARY OF PHILir HONE. [^tat. 59. 

September 7. — The following gentlemen dined with us; it was 
a very pleasant party, as might be expected from such material : 
Charles Kean, Lieutenant-Governor Bradish, Hon. Richard Bayard, 
United States Senate, Hon. Edward Curtis, Hon. Ogden Hoffman, 
J. Prescott Hall, R. M. Blatchford, Dr. H. McLean, G. H. Carter, 
Dr. Arnoult, and Robert Greenhow. 

Times are certainly hard. Money is scarce and pro- 
Y^, ""'^^ visions dear. Goods won't sell, and customers don't 

and Theatres. 

pay. The banks won't discount ; stocks are down to 
nothing, and real estate unavailable. And yet, with all this, the rage 
for amusement is unabated. Indeed, men seem to reason that, as 
they cannot last long, a dollar more or less will make very little dif- 
ference either to themselves or their creditors, as the case may be. 

But we are a great, overgrown city, full of strangers at this season, 
who bring money to pay old debts, perhaps, and furnish credit for 
new ones. 

September 13. — I went last evening to the National Theatre, 
and saw Charles Kean in " Lear." He is so hoarse from a cold 
that it was difficult at times to hear him. He is his father all over 
again in this part ; but I did not perceive many of those thrilling 
passages which left an impression upon my mind never to be 
effaced. This may be my fault, not his ; my sensibility is not so 
acute as in the days of the elder Kean. The son looked Lear 
admirably, — never was there a more perfect little old man. 

September 17. — The vestry of Trinity Church has adopted plans 
for the new church. The old one is removed, and Wall street has 
an unobstructed view of the bright blue western sky, — the only 
bright prospect left for the thousands who daily visit that street. 

September 18. — My wife and I left home this morning on a 
gossiping jaunt up the North river, to Samuel S. Howland's. 

September ig. — The morning was delicious. After breakfast 
we drove out to visit some of the neighbours. Mr. Howland's 
house is only about two miles from Dobb's ferry, in the midst of 
the pleasant neighbourhood around about Tarrytown. Our first 

1839.] THE DIARY OF PIIILir HONE. 381 

visit was to Mr. Sheldon's. He has just finished a lovely Gothic 
cottage, which is furnished in excellent taste, ornamented the 
grounds, and among other improvements converted a tumbling, 
noisy brook into a series of cascades, and made a succession of 
shady walks and rural seats, enough to turn the brain of a 
romantic seeker after the beauties of nature. 

We next visited Washington Irving, who lives with his sister 
and nieces on the banks of the river. Our friend Geoffrey 
Crayon's cottage appeared rather to a disadvantage after leaving 
its tasteful and elegant neighbour a mile or two farther up. It is 
a quaint, Dutch-looking cabin, with small rooms, inconvenient, 
and only one story high ; but the admirers of the gentle Geoffrey 
think, no doubt, that one story of his is worth more than half a 
dozen of other people's. 

Mr. James A. Hamilton next was honoured, when we found him 
and his family (as in the other houses we had visited) very glad 
to see us. His house is large and the rooms handsome, but no 
part of the work appears very substantial. The view from the 
front is splendid, and the want of trees is not so apparent as 
when seen from the river. 

We returned to dine at Howland's, and went by invitation to 
drink tea at Mrs. Constant's. This is a noble place, formerly 
owned by Mr. Edgar, about a mile below Dobb's ferry. The 
fine old trees which line the roads and surround the house give 
an air of magnificence to the spot. 

OcTORER 3. — I was invited to dine yesterday at 
Dinner at Kowlau's Tavem, with the ]:> resident and directors of 

Harlem. '■ 

the Harlem Railroad Company, on the occasion of the 
completion of a double track the whole distance from City Hall. 
A company of about one hundred, including the Chancellor, the 
Court of Errors, Judges and members of the Corporation, partook 
of an excellent dinner, and there were toasts and speeches in 
abundance, as usual. The best speeches were made by Ogtlen 
Hoffman and Mr. Brooks of the " Express." My toast was " The 

382 THE DIARY OF rillLIP HONE. [/Etaf. 59. 

locomotive — the only good motive for riding a man on a r«//." 
The weather during the day and evening was delicious. 

OcroBKR 9. — Wall street, the commercial and polit- 
arm in a .^^^ barometer, was grievously disturbed to-day. A 

street. ? o ^ j 

great crash has taken place, which, now that it has 
happened, appears to have not been unexpected. The Bank, of 
the United States in Philadelphia has suspended specie payments, 
and the other banks of that city will have to follow its example. 
Those in Baltimore must pursue the same course, and the thousand 
rotten banks of the South will be but too happy to follow suit. 
Our banks carry a bold front and will not suspend, they say. In 
order to place themselves in a situation to hold this lofty language, 
they have been compelled for a long time past to squeeze the poor 
merchants to death. They are placed under the "nether mill- 
stone," where struggling is in vain. I hope, for the honour of New 
York, that all their sacrifices will not be in vain ; but it is hard to 
'stand alone against the shock of universal bankruptcy. 

How that old Jackson will rejoice in his unsanctified re- 
treat at Nashville, at this catastrophe ! It would have been worth 
a play ticket to witness his triumph on the receipt of the news. 
"I told you so ! " he must have said, as he dashed his pipe to the 
ground with savage joy. "Where is Nick Biddle now? — down ! 
down ! where I have tried to get him for so long a time. Shout, 
my liege subjects, for your master's victory ! Throw up your caps, 
my faithful Loco-foco supporters, and renew the yell so grateful to 
my ears : Hurrah for Jackson, and down with the merchants ! " 
True, indeed, he did tell them so ; and we Whigs also told them so. 
This and all the other miseries we are suffering are to be attributed 
to the measures of hostility inflicted by this vindictive man upon 
the Bank of the United States. 

October 10. — The Senatorial Convention of the 

Whigs of this district was held this day at the Broad- 

Convention. ° ■' 

way House, at noon. The members proceeded to can- 
vass informally and inconclusively for a nominee to the Senate. 

1S39.] THE DIARY OF nilLIP IIOXE. 383 

Observing my name to be high on the list, I stated to my col- 
leagues the difficulty of my position in being present during the 
discussion which would naturally arise. I certainly did not desire 
the nomination, and would support most heartily any other candi- 
date who might be selected ; nor would I decline it. I was pre- 
cluded from the latter course by implied pledges made to my 
political friends last year as the condition of their consent to the 
withdrawal of my name from the Assembly ticket, that I would 
agree to serve them this year if they should continue of the same 
mind. In order to be relieved from the awkwardness of my situa- 
tion I requested and obtained leave to retire during the discussion. 
After an hour's absence I was sent for and the balloting com- 
menced. On the first ballot I had eight votes, Daniel Lord, Jr., 
seven, and Mr. Jay one (my vote). Finding my name still before 
the convention, I declined voting again, and on the third or fourth 
ballot I received eleven votes and Mr. Lord four. On this the 
question was taken by ayes and nays, and I had evety vote. So I 
am in nomination as the Whig candidate for the Senate of the State 
at the ensuing election. I hope it will come to good for the cause, 
and that I may be elected now that I am up ; but, in truth, it would be 
very inconvenient for me to pass my winters in Albany. My oppo- 
nent in the convention, Mr. Lord, was supported by the lawyers, 
who deem it important to have gentlemen of their profession in the 
Court of Errors ; but everything that occurred was highly compli- 
mentary to me, and it is no small gratification to have had as my 
principal competitor such a man as Daniel Lord, Jr., who, besides 
standing at the very top of the New York bar, is, in every respect, 
one of the most estimable men in the city. 

The fearful apprehensions of yesterday were realized. The banks 
of Philadelphia have suspended specie payments. New York stands 
yet — but how long? 

October 14. — My nomination for the Senate excites great in- 
terest with all parties. It is somewhat amusing to read the com- 
ments upon my character in the newspapers. The Whigs, of 

384 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [yEtat. 59. 

course, express their approbaxion, some of them (the "Commercial 
Advertiser" and '^'The Daily Whig") in terms of exaggerated 
encomium, whilst the other party are not sparing abuse. The 
" Herald " (Bennett's paper) says I am the most unpopular candi- 
date that could have been put up. This must all go for as much as 
it is worth. I shall preserve these precious documents, and some 
of these days copy them here, to show hereafter the discrepancies 
of party opinions on plain matters. 

It annoys me a little to be told that some of the Loco-focos of 
my own party (for we have such amongst us) are opposed to the 
nomination. " I am a gentleman," they say, — very much obliged 
to them ! — " and no gentleman can succeed." These are the men 
that ruin a good cause. If they are right in what they say, the 
party is not worth sustaining ; better would it be that everything 
should go back to the dunghill of Democracy, and let us see if 
something better may not spring from it. As a set-off against the 
annoyance which their reports have given me, I have been gratified 
by the visits of several influential Whigs in the upper wards, who 
assure me that I shall run a better chance than any other person 
could have done. I have strong doubts of the success of our 
ticket ; but I should hate confoundedly to find that I had been an 
injury to it. 

October 17. — Three of my young female friends have em- 
braced the willing chains of matrimony, besides Miss Julia Coster, 
whose wedding I noticed yesterday. Miss Sarah Ogden made 
Robert Goelet happy, and to-day Miss Mary Tallmadge, loveliest 
among the lovely, weds Philip L. Van Rensselaer, son of the late 
excellent Stephen Van Rensselaer. This last marriage is celebrated 
at General Tallmadge's country-seat in Dutchess County, and is, 
I presume, a very satisfactory union to all parties concerned ; 
pride of birth (all that we Republicans are allowed to have of 
it) will be gratified. Great wealth comes in to make things 
comfortable, and good character gives a reasonable chance for 
future happiness. 


OcTOi'.KR 2 2. — There is great excitement in relation to the 
arrest of the two Spaniards, Jos^ Ruiz and Pedro Montez, the 
owners of the revolted slaves who were taken on board the " Ami- 
stead," and are now in prison in Connecticut. This outrageous 
proceeding is the work of the abolitionists, who, in their officious 
zeal, have obtained affidavits from the wretched Africans, who, 
ignorant of our language, probably knew not what they were swear- 
ing about. These affidavits, charging their owners with assault and 
battery, were made the grounds of this arrest, and the Spaniards are 
in prison. Writs of habeas corpus have been issued, and the 
subject is now submitted to the judges, who, it is hoped, will see 
reason to discharge the men who escaped so narrowly from the 
conspiracy in which the lives of other white men were sacrificed. 
The fanatics are working day and night to make this bad matter 
worse ; under the specious cloak of an abstract opposition to 
slavery, they are blowing up a flame which may destroy the Union, 
and light up a civil war between men who have no interest so 
strong as to belong to a brotherhood of patriots. 

October 23. — My old friend, Benjamin L. Swan, marries his 
daughter Mary, this evening, to Mr. Charles N. Fearing. My son 
Robert is one of the groomsmen, and Miss Eliza Russell a brides- 

October 26. — I am fairly in for it ; every evening I am toted 
somewhere to show myself to the voters, to make a speech and 
solicit their " sweet voices," not for myself, — oh no, by all 
means ! — but for the cause of which I am the deputed representa- 
tive and organ. This is a distinction which requires some address 
to make, but the people seem satisfied with it. A committee 
called upon me yesterday to invite me to a great Whig meeting, at 
the Military Hall, Bowery. I went, was received with the most 
enthusiastic greetings, made a tolerably good speech, which was 
received with shouts and- hurrahs, and on the whole made an 
excellent hit. 

October 31. — I went, by invitation of Mr. Grinnell, this morn- 


ing, and partook of a collation on board the splendid new ship 
" Patrick Henry," intended for Grinnell and Minturn's line of 
packets. She is the ne plus ult/'a, or will be until another ship of 
her class shall be built, 

November 4. — My vanity has been tickled again 
MeTting!"^ by a call signed by a large number of merchants' 
clerks, for a meeting to be held on Saturday evening, 
at the Shakespeare Hotel, of " the young men of the city 
of New York friendly to the election of PhiUp Hone to the 
Senate." This meeting, so flattering to me, was held on Satur- 
day, at the appointed place, and was (I am told) a great and 
enthusiastic assemblage. 

November 6. — The Sun of Austerlitz succeeded 
^^':*!°" this morning the violent storm of last night. The 

Decided. ° = 

Whigs hailed it as a harbinger of victory, but the 
canvass this evening of the senatorial votes shows that we have 
suffered a Waterloo defeat. I am beaten by a majority of eighteen 
hundred, and the Assembly ticket has no doubt fared equally badly. 
This result is unexpected to me, and somewhat mortifying. I feel 
a selfish joy in having escaped the excessive labour and the numer- 
ous discomforts and deprivations which would have been the 
consequences of my election to the Senate ; but I deplore deeply 
the failure of so good a cause as ours, and this triumph of princi- 
ples so broadly and openly avowed by the successful party, which, 
in the sincerity of my heart, I conceive are calculated to destroy 
the only hopes of a recovery from the deplorable state in which 
the country is placed. Our hopes of the State have been sanguine, 
and it may yet save the cause ; but they were equally so of the city. 
I fear the worst. God's will be done. Party-spirit and personal 
ambition and desire of power rule the country, and must rule ; and 
their instruments are the worthless part of the population, which, 
unhappily, is the most numerous. 

November 9. — I had a dinner-party of Whigs, principally mem- 
bers of the " Hone Club," invited " for congratulation or for con- 


dolence as the case might be," which turned out to be the latter, 
— no mistake about it, — so far as the host was concerned in this 
rascally city. But congratulation came in for a good share of the 
business of the day. By the time my guests assembled it was 
pretty clearly ascertained that the Whigs had triumphed again in 
the State, and secured a majority in both Houses of the Legislature. 
My appetite was not injured, nor was my wine less bright, from my 
knowledge that I was to be left at home to enjoy them and other 
greater comforts, instead of devoting time and labour, perhaps with- 
out thanks, to the service of the State for four years to come. It is 
a reprieve for which I ought to be thankful. ^Ve had a pleasant 
dinner. The party consisted of Moses H. Grinnell, Ogden Hoff- 
man, Edward Curtis, James Monroe, R. M. Blatchford, John Ward, 
Simeon Draper, Jonathan Amory, W. T. Brigham, S. B. Ruggles, 
and Dr. Francis. 
„ „ , November 21. — The Governor came in town to 

Gov. Seward 

and Office- attend a public dinner given to him by the line officers 
seekers. ^j- ^j^^ miHtia, and returned home yesterday. He feels 

now the weight of his office. The result of the late election, by 
securing a majority of his political friends in the Senate, and there- 
by giving validity to his nominations for office, has opened the 
flood-gates of application, — enough to sweep him away in the 
current ; but he seems to stand it very well. His spirits are good, 
his tact admirable, and he has a good word for each of the crowd 
of importunate solicitors for executive f.ivour who beset him without 
intermission or relaxation. I have my troubles, too, in a subordi- 
nate capacity. Having been a candidate for office, and supposed 
to be somewhat in His Excellency's good graces, I am beset all day 
long by office-seekers to sign their petitions, to speak to the Gov- 
ernor, or to write him letters in their behalf. We Whigs are cer- 
tainly the most disinterested patriots in the world. We have no 
interested motives, — not we ! The country, and the cause, and the 
good of the people were our only motives in working at the elec- 
tions ; and now that the loaves and fishes are to be distributed. 

388 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^tat. 59. 

there are not more than about fifty baskets held out for each, each 
appUcant having convinced himself that he is the only one qualified 
for the office, and ready to curse the Governor and desert the party 
if he should not be successful. I have had them every hour in the 
day for the last two or three weeks. I do not know of late the 
pleasure of eating an uninterrupted meal. I dread the sight of 
a square folded paper taken from a whited-brown envelope. Men 
are affronted if I refuse to certify that they are in all things quali- 
fied, when in truth I know nothing about them, and go off in an 
unappeasable huff if I hesitate to ascribe to them qualities which 
I do know they do not possess. Persons apply to be made water 
commissioners, who do not know a culvert from a bridge ; measurers 
and inspectors of grain and flour, who can scarcely tell the differ- 
ence between wheat and rye ; and inspectors of pot and pearl ashes, 
who would have to consult an encyclopaedia (if, perchance, they can 
read) to ascertain if the article on which they are to pass judgment 
be a mineral or a vegetable production. The poor Governor has 
not now a refractory Senate opposed to him, as he had last session, 
on whom he could lay the blame of the failure of the Whigs' appli- 
cation. He must stand the brunt of the affair, and get over as well 
as he can the consequences of making one cool friend and forty- 
nine enemies amongst his political partisans in the case of every 

November 22. — Poor Wallack cannot succeed with 
ationa j^.^ company at Niblo's (his place of refuge after the 

burning of his theatre). His stock company was good, 
and his milky way was not deficient in stars. He has had Vanden- 
hoff and his charming daughter, Charles Kean, Forrest, and the best 
opera corps in the country ; but all would not do. The theatre 
was closed the first of the present week. The stock actors are 
standing stock still, and the planets move no longer in their accus- 
tomed orbits. The Park lingers on, but it is doing a bad business. 
There are but few strangers in town, and the pockets of our citi- 
zens, for the most part, are too low to stand the united demands 


of Fulton market and the theatres. Economy begins to follow 
reluctantly in the dirty footsteps of necessity. 

November 27. — Mr. Samuel Ward, senior partner 
?r?.."^ of the great banking-house of Prime, Ward, King, & 

Mr. Ward. o o o 

Co., died this day at noon. There are few citizens in 
New York whose death would have caused so great a void in the 
circles of active business and social intercourse as Mr. Ward's, 
the moving spirit of a great financial concern, whose ramifications 
extended not only over all parts of this country, but were known and 
felt throughout Europe. Liberal and munificent in a degree greater 
perhaps than that of any other person, he employed a large por- 
tion of his wealth in works of benevolence and public spirit. Pos- 
sessed of a good heart and a sound head, he was, nevertheless, too 
much the slave of systems, which he applied indiscriminately to all 
dispositions and characters, and measured all men by the same 
rules ; even his own habits were subjected to a system of govern- 
ment too rigid for his constitution. He became all of a sudden a 
total-abstinence man, at a time of life when the experiment was 
dangerous, and drank nothing but water, when, in my judgment, a 
moderate use of the good wine which he had in his cellar would 
have been more congenial to his health. Mr. Ward was about fifty- 
five years old. He went to live with Mr. Nathaniel Prime at the 
age of fourteen, became in the course of time his partner, and con- 
tinued an active member of the house, and the senior since Mr. 
Prime's retirement. Mr. Ward lived in a noble house, which he 
built a few years ago, on the comer of Broadway and Bond street, 
— the corner below my house, — where he had a picture-gallery 
and one of the finest libraries in the city. He was a rich man, and 
made a good use of his money; and such men are not easily 
spared at this time. 

November 28. — This was the day of general 
Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, appointed by the Governor of the State 

and the city authorities, and was very generally ob- 
served. Never had a people more reason to be thankful for the 

390 THE DIARY OF THILIP HONE. [/Etat. 59. 

blessings of Divine Providence. The year has been especially 
marked by genial weather, abundant harvests, and exemption 
from war, pestilence, and famine, and all the minor evils with 
which it is the pleasure of the Almighty to visit at times his 
unthankful children. There are troubles enough, certainly ; but 
they are " the work of man's hands," and show how wayward 
and weak he is when left to his own " inventions." Our constant 
prayer should be that he may not be thus left. 

I was forcibly struck this morning in examining a 
Coal. table of the quantity of coals produced from the 

mines of Pennsylvania during the last nineteen years. 
In the year 1820 the whole quantity sent to market was three 
hundred and sixty-five tons from Lehigh ; in the present year 
more than a million of tons will have been sent. Nine years ago 
the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company made their first ship- 
ments, amounting to seven thousand tons ; this year they have 
shipped to Rondout on the North river one hundred and twenty- 
two thousand tons, — the greatest quantity sent in any one year. 

What an argument is this in favour of internal improvements, 
and what a reproof to the miserable tools of party faction, who, 
to secure their election to the State Legislature, have bound 
themselves by unholy pledges to break down these noble enter- 
prises, and to check an experiment so eminently successful ! Here 
is an increase of an article indispensable for the use of all classes 
of our citizens, whether for manufactures, steam navigation, or 
domestic fuel, to the amount of six or seven millions of dollars, 
and making a reduction in price to the consumers of as much 
more ; an article which, although known to exist in an inexhausti- 
ble extent in the mountains of a neighbouring State, was as 
worthless as the soil which covered it, until the means were 
adopted by the construction of roads and canals to bring it to 
market ; and all these glorious benefits, the fruits of public spirit 
and private enterprise, were to have been abandoned to secure the 
influence of a set of miserable politicians, who would sacrifice all 


the great interests of the country to promote the designs an 1 
perpetuate the power of their leaders. But, thank God ! the 
pestilential breath of party-spirit engendered in this rotten political 
atmosphere has not infected the State at large, and for one year 
at least its councils will not be polluted by its deleterious influence. 
December 4. — I went this morning, by invitation 
ThcDaguerro. ^^ j^io^sieur Frangois Gouraud, to see a collection of 


the views made by the wonderful process lately discov- 
ered in France by Monsieur Daguerre, which is called by his name. 
Mr. Gouraud is the pupil and friend of the inventot, and comes to 
this country to make known the process. The pictures he has 
are extremely beautiful, — they consist of views in Paris, and ex- 
quisite collections of the objects of still life. The manner of 
producing them constitutes one of the wonders of modern times, 
and, like other miracles, one may almost be excused for dis- 
believing it without seeing the very process by which it is created. 
It appears to me a confusion of the very elements of nature. It 
is nothing less than the palpable effect of light occasioning a re- 
production of sensible objects. The reflection of surrounding 
images created by a camera, obscured upon a plate of copper, 
plated with silver, and prepared with some chemical substances, 
is not only distinctly delineated, but left upon the plate so pre- 
pared, and there remains forever. Every object, however minute, 
is a perfect transcript of the thing itself; the hair of the human 
head, the gravel on the roadside, the texture of a silk curtain, 
or the shadow of the smaller leaf reflected upon the wall, are all 
imprinted as carefully as nature or art has created them in the 
objects transferred ; and those things which are invisible to the 
naked eye are rendered apparent by the help of a magnifying 
glass. It appears to me not less wonderful that light should be 
made an active operating power in this manner, and that some 
such effect should be produced by sound ; and who knows 
whether, in this age of invention and discoveries, we may not be 
called upon to muvel at the exhibition of a tree, a horse, or a 

392 THE DIARY OF I'lIILIP HONE. [^tat. 59. 

ship produced by the human voice muttering over a metal plate, 
prepared in the same or some other manner, the words " tree," 
" horse," and " ship." How greatly ashamed of their ignorance 
the by-gone generations of mankind ought to be ! 

December 5. — My old friend, Henry J. Wyckoff, 
w^ckoff ^' ^^^^^ ^'^^^ evening, in the seventy-second year of his age. 
Mr. Wyckoff was a good man, actively and efficiently 
engaged in public institutions of benevolence and charity. He was 
formerly a merchant of highly respectable standing, of the firm of 
Suydam & Wyckoff, and, I presume, died rich. We were formerly 
intimate companions, members of the same club, and meeting at 
dinner-parties two or three times a week. Thus another tie is 
broken, and another warning given. 

A most outrageous revolt has broken out among the 
e a roon s j-gj^j^j^^g q£ jj^g ^ate patroon, General Van Rensselaer, 

Tenants. '■ ' ' 

in the neighbourhood of Albany, of a piece with the 
vile disorganizing spirit which overspreads the land like a cloud, 
and daily increases in darkness. The tenants of the manor of 
Rensselaer, which is in extent from twenty to forty miles, having 
waited for the decease of their respected proprietor, the late 
patroon, have now risen en masse, and refuse to pay their rent to 
his son Stephen, to whom that portion of the estate of his father 
has been bequeathed, except upon their own terms, and at their 
own good pleasure. They have enjoyed their leases for so many 
years, upon terms so easy, and have been treated with so much len- 
ity, that they have brought themselves to believe that the lands be- 
longed to them. Since the death of General Van Rensselaer they 
have had meetings, and resolved that in a land of liberty there is 
no liberty for landlords ; that no man has a right to own more land 
than his neighbour, and that they have paid so little rent heretofore 
that it is not worth while to pay any hereafter ; and that master 
Stephen, with as good a title by inheritance as any known to the 
laws of the State, shall neither have his land nor the income of it. 
This outrageous proceeding of the Rensselaerwickers has occa- 


sioned great consternation in Albany. The sheriff resorted to the 
ancient process of summoning the posse comiiatus ; the citizens 
were ordered out to march against the rioters ; several hundred 
went, and met the enemy in the disputed territory. The sheriff, 
with seventy followers, went forward in advance ; but finding them 
armed and mounted to the number of several thousands, deter- 
mined to resist, and swearing by Dunder and Plixsen that they 
would pay no more, nor surrender their farms to the rightful owner, 
he returned to the main body of his forces, faced to the right 
about, and marched back to Albany. 

This is alarming, certainly, but nothing more than a carrying- out 
of the Loco-foco principles of the people of the State, — those 
principles which prevailed in this city at the late election, — to 
the support of which the members- elect of the Legislature are 
pledged, and from which the councils of the State have been lately 
saved by the greater virtue of the country, but which must, in a 
short time (perhaps the very next year), sweep away all the wise 
restraints of law and justice, and cause the destruction of individ- 
ual rights. Let it come, if come it must ; the evil will be remedied 
some time or other ; but this fair dream of Republicanism will be 
dissipated by its cure. 

December 9. — The Harrisburg Convention on 

igiomi- g3^^^J.J^y completed their business, and adjourned. 
The nomination is made, and nothing remains but to 
support it with unanimity and zeal. William Henry Harrison, of 
Ohio, for President, and John Tyler, of Virginia, for Vice-Presi- 
dent, are the true, regular candidates of the ^Vhig party of the 
United States. My preference was for Mr. Clay. His services 
have been greater than those of any other person ; and his devo- 
tion to genuine Whig principles merited, and, in my opinion, should 
have received, from the party the highest proof of its approbation 
and gratitude ; but this tribute which a great majority of the Whigs 
have ever been ready to pay him has been now withheld, from an 
apprehension that the opposition of the abolitionists in the Western 

394 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [^Elat. 59. 

States, and in a large portion of the State of New York, would 
destroy his chance of success, and that General Harrison, being 
the favourite of the Whigs of the " free States," would run better. 
This is not the last mischief to be apprehended from this quarter. 
The accursed question is destined to mix up with all national ques- 
tions, and in the end to alter the essential features of our govern- 
ment, if not to cause a separation of the States and a dissolution 
of the Union. The opposition to Mr. Clay from this quarter is so 
strong, that even if nominated he could not (in the opinion of a 
majority of the convention) have been elected, and it was perhaps 
good policy to take Harrison, who may succeed if the friends of 
Mr. Clay exercise that magnanimity which it appears they could not 
calculate upon from a portion, at least, of the friends of his rivals. 
But the matter is now settled, and I, for my part, am determined 
to forget that any other candidate than General Harrison has ever 
been thought of, or named to the people. The informal vote on 
Friday is understood to have been, for Winfield Scott, 1 6 ; Henry 
Clay, 90; William H. Harrison, 14S. 

December 10. — In removing the foundation of the 
Curious Relic, towcr of Trinity Church a vaulted grave was opened, 
which contained the coffin and* bones of Lady Corn- 
bury, wife of the governor of the colony, who died in this city in 
the year 1706, and was buried under the original church, which 
was burned in the time of the Revolutionary war. A large plate 
and fragments of the coffin were found, which are now seen in the 
office of the architect ; the former is perfectly legible, and nearly 
uninjured by its inhumation of one hundred and thirty-three years. 
The arms of this noble lady, who was sister of the Earl of Rich- 
mond, and a viscountess in her own right, are engraven on the 
plate, with her pedigree, age, and time of her death, etc., distinctly, 
but very rudely, written below. She died at the age of thirty-four. 
This relic is interesting and valuable, as it marks the period of 
Lord Combury's government, one of the early English governors, 
whose name is affixed to the charter of Trinity Church. How 


many generations of men liave passed away, ami what changes have 
occurred, since this plate of silver, emblazoned by the hands of an 
unskilful artist with the pompous display of heraldic pride and 
the unerring record of death's doings, was placed in its dark, cold 
repository, to be brought forth again to the light of day to undergo 
the scrutiny of a generation of men who were not thought of in 
those days, and who care no more about the remains of this branch 
of the Richmond family than those of the poor Indian chief who 
was driven from the spot before her husband came to it as the 
representative of the Majesty of England ! 

The place where these remains were interred was, at the time, 
the northern boundary of the city of New York. The charter of 
Trinity Church (a copy of which I have in my possession) provides 
for the erection of a church in that spot, near to the city of New 
York. It has now become in fact the southern boundary. The 
solitary tomb of this young and noble lady has echoed for more 
than a century the footsteps of busy men, ardently engaged in the 
cares of business and the pursuit of wealth ; for it was close to 
Broadway, opposite Wall street. I proposed last evening, in the 
vestry, that these relics should be presented to the Historical 
Society ; but it was not granted. They determined to have a new 
tomb provided, in which they are to be re-interred. 

The De Ruyters, the Von Tromps, and the Stuyve- 

. cvv utc gjjj^j. q|- jj^g manor of Rensselaer, remain still in an 

W ar. ' ' 

attitude of open rebellion to the laws of the land. 
Equally opposed to good order as to good manors, they won't pay 
their rent to him whom they style the pretended proprietor, oppose 
every attempt of the constituted authorities to enforce the demands 
of justice, and treat with indignity everything in the shape of legal 
process. This outrageous proceeding has become so serious that 
the Governor has ordered a body of fifteen hundred of the inf.xntry 
of this city to hold themselves in readiness to repair to Albany at 
a moment's warning, and has provided two steamboats to transj^ort 
them to the seat of war. Division and brigade orders fill a column 

396 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [.Elat. 59. 

in the morning papers, and names of major-generals, A.D.C.'s, 
and brigade-majors are blazoned in staring capitals. Young men 
with muskets, unconscious yet of murderous lead, parade the streets, 
" panting for the fray," and anxious to flesh their maiden swords 
in Dutchmen's blood ; and many a one whose nose looks red and 
bright on frosty mornings may find it turn blue when he comes to 
poke into the hostile camp of the belligerent Rensselaerwickers. 
But in truth and soberness this is a serious business. Conduct so 
disorganizing must be resisted, and the laws be maintained at all 
events. The affair is in good hands. Our excellent little Gover- 
nor understands what he is about, and if the last attempts of the 
sheriff in Albany county should be unsuccessful, the arm of execu- 
tive power will not be raised in vain. 

A correspondence between the malcontents and Mr. Van 
Rensselaer is published, in which it appears to me they are all 
WTOng, and he all right. The letter of Mr. V. R. contains the 
description of the boundaries and extent of the Van Rensselaer 
patent. It is enormous, and such a territory in the hands of an 
individual certainly does not conduce to the public advantage. 
At the time of the grant it consisted of little better than wild land, 
inhabited by Indians, and unproductive as the prairies of Arkansas 
or the Rocky mountains ; whereas it is now the heart of the State, 
near the capital, and capable of indefinite improvements if the oc- 
cupants held it in fee. But these men do not go the right way to 
work ; they have no more right to refuse the payment of the tri- 
fling rent than the tenants of houses in New York have to say 
they will pay but one-half of their stipulated rent, or none at all. 
December 12. — The disturbances in the Rensse- 
Dutch War. laer manor are in a fair way of settlement without 
calling in the aid of the troops from New York. This 
effect has been mainly produced by the firm and discreet course 
of Governor Seward, who issued a very judicious proclamation to 
the revolted tribes of the Helderberg, giving them little to hope 
from the hostile attitude in which they had placed themselves, and 


much from a suitable obedience to the laws and reliance upon the 
justice of the Legislature. 

An attempt was made during the course of this affair, by the 
profligate politicians who are in the ascendant in this devoted city, 
to get up a meeting at Tammany Hall to express their horror at 
the thought of troops being employed to shed the blood of their 
fellow-citizens, and to raise party capital by condemning the 
measures adopted by the Governor ; but this cankered sore of Jac- 
obinical corruption did not come to a head ; their hearts were 
black enough, and their heads sufficiently willing to carry out such 
a design, but it was thought rather too radical. The time has not 
quite come, — it is not far distant. 

December 13. — Great anxiety has prevailed for some time past 
about the French packet "Ville de Lyons," Captain Stoddart, 
which has been out about seventy days from Havre, with two hun- 
dred passengers. Mrs. Cutting, the elder Miss Cutting, and the 
wife and children of Francis B. Cutting, with a number of others 
in whose fate great interest was felt, were known to be on board, 
and this day apprehensions were relieved by accounts being re- 
ceived that the ship had just put into Bermuda, dismasted and 
otherwise greatly disabled by severe weather. The perils and dan- 
gers of the voyage will be likely to induce passengers to prefer 
the steam-packets in making a western passage during the winter 

December 14. — Mr. Robert Lenox, who has been ill for several 
weeks, died yesterday, in the eightieth year of his age. He was 
formerly a merchant and magistrate of this city, and died one of its 
richest citizens. 

December 19. — Anthony L Bleecker has been appointed mar- 
shal of this district, in the place of W. C. H. Waddell. In this 
appointment the President, it is said, has given mortal offence to 
the butt-enders and indomitables who form the elite of his party in 
New York. These gentry had made up their minds to the ap- 
pointment of a Major Hopkins to this office, and sent a deputation 

398 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [yEtat. 59. 

of their respectable order to Washington to that effect, demanding 
that their rescript should be obeyed, and their favourite receive his 
share of the spoils of the victory which their prowess had gained. 
This demand, it would appear, was urged with a degree of insolence 
which the President could not brook. He smiled, however, upon 
his tools, rough as was their deportment, gave them soft words in 
return for rude enforcements, bowed the unshaven dignitaries of the 
Loco-foco body-guards out of his palace, and forthwith appointed 
this Mr. Bleecker to the office, who is a gentleman, — sufficient, one 
would think, at this time to disqualify him. This contumelious 
treatment has given mortal offence to the sovereigns, and some of 
their ultra papers have gone the length of abusing the President in 
good set terms. One or two more such acts of rebellion against 
the expressed v/ill of the party will get Mr. Van Buren out of their 
good books. He has occasionally evinced a disposition to act like 
a gentleman, which will be his ruin if he does not take care. 

December 20. — The nomination of General Harri- 
Mr. Clay. son works like a charm among the Whigs. They said 
that the choice of the Harrisburg Convention should be 
the signal of union, and that all personal predilections should 
be offered up on the altar of patriotism, and nobly have they 
redeemed their pledge. All have forgotten their first choice, and 
every man's banner is inscribed with the name of Harrison. In 
this honourable course the friends of Henry Clay have been the 
foremost ; and the man of their choice, he who has done his coun- 
try better service than any man alive, and better deserves its highest 
recompense, was the first to set the glorious example. Mr. Clay 
will never be President; but why should he wish it? He has 
reached a higher eminence. He has sacrificed personal interest to 
the public good. Is he ambitious? What is there in the title, or 
troublesome duty, or empty distinction of being President of the 
United States for four years (for that is to be the ultimatum here- 
after) to fill the measure of a reasonable ambition equal to that of 
his present position? He has drawn off his troops at a moment 


when they were ready to fight for him to the death. He hcOs sub- 
mitted even to the force of prejudices, and acknowledged that 
popularity with the people did not follow from his best public acts. 
He has sacrificed the reward of a long life of public and private 
devotion to his country to the noble sentiment of the patriotic Vir- 
ginian, " Union for the sake of the Union," and relinquished the 
doubtful chance of the enjoyment for four years of the glitter of 
office, with the vapid, dull, and useless remainder after the expira- 
tion of his term, for the proud certainty of being enthroned in the 
hearts of the honest, high-minded portion of his countrymen as 
the disinterested patriot who has always sensed them well, and 
stands ready to serve them well hereafter. 

After the adjournment of the Harrisburg Convention many of the 
members went to Washington, where it was found that there were 
one or more delegates from eighteen out of the twenty-two States 
which had been represented in that patriotic and enlightened body. 
They called in a body upon Air. Clay, to do homage to the high 
moral principle which had influenced his conduct. The friends of 
Harrison and Scott, with those who originally enlisted for Webster, 
were as ready to acknowledge the high claims of Clay to the proud 
distinction of their nomination as he and his friends had been to 
surrender those claims in favour of a candidate who was thought to 
be more available. The particulars of this touching ceremony, 
together with those of the great Whig dinner given on the same 
day, are detailed admirably in the " National Intelligencer." 

December 26. — The message was not delivered 
President's ^^^^^ Tucsday. It is well written, delusive, and calcu- 


lated to strengthen the President with his party, — 
choroughly Loco-foco. Two- thirds of the enormous mass of words 
are used to minister to the bad feelings of the anti-bankites. The 
President recommends, in the boldest and most undisguised terms, 
the sub-treasury system, — an exclusive circulation for government 
purposes. State banks are condemned without mercy, and the 
plan of a national bank is declared not only unconstitutional, but 

400 THE DIARY OF PHILIP HONE. [-Etat. 59. 

altogether inexpedient. The government is to be banker, broker, 
and money-dealer for the whole country. These doctrines will 
probably be carried out in their fullest extent, and in a few monthri 
the whole policy of the country will be changed, and the general 
government (or rather the President and his myrmidons) become 
the masters of the people, and the regulators of their private as well 
as public affairs. Good -by, then, to all the sound influence of 
wholesome credit and national faith. 

December 30. — I called yesterday to see Mr. Webster. He is 
in good health and spirits, and greatly pleased (as he could not 
fail to be) with his visit. His splendid talents and high standing 
in his own country have been suitably appreciated where he has 
been, and he has met with a flattering reception and kind treat- 
ment. I had half an hour's agreeable conversation with him. He 
does not appear anxious to go to Washington immediately, for he 
sees no chance of doing any good there. His mind is full of 
gloomy forebodings of the unhappy result of measures which it is 
too certain will now be carried. The accession of Mr. Calhoun 
and his little squad of anti- federal nuUifiers to the grasping, reck- 
less policy of the administration, which sanctions any coalition, 
however corrupt, and consents to any violation of the Constitution, 
however flagrant, which may serve to secure the permanency of 
their power, gives the death-blow to the patriotic efforts of the 
Whigs of the North and the East. One hundred and ten good 
men and true in the House of Representatives are to be ruled by 
eight or ten who are neither good nor true, and if anything is to be 
gained by an occasional assistance from that quarter it must be by 
a sacrifice greater than the object is worth. Mr. Calhoun's party 
are the worst politicians in the country, — enemies of the Constitu- 
tion, more dangerous than Benton and Wright, Frank Thomas, or 
Aaron Vanderpoel. 



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